[ISN] Joint Task Force to Direct Pentagon's Cyber Defense

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Mon Feb 01 1999 - 19:19:08 PST

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    Jan. 28, 1999 (C4I NEWS, Vol. 6, No. 2 via COMTEX) -- The recent creation
    of the Joint Task Force on Computer Network Defense (JTF-CND) reflects the
    Pentagon's increasing emphasis on cyber defense and its recognition of the
    likelihood of computer attacks by nations, hackers and terrorists. 
    The task force began operations Dec. 30 and reports directly to Defense
    Secretary William Cohen through Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, the chairman of
    the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The organization came about after the Eligible
    Receiver exercise in June 1997 found DoD computer networks vulnerable
    (Defense Daily, Feb. 5, 1998). 
    Pentagon networks were slow to respond to the attacks because, under the
    Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, unified commands, not combat support
    agencies or the Joint Staff, direct warfare operations. The Joint Staff,
    which monitored the Eligible Receiver attacks, could not respond. 
    "In the aftermath of Eligible Receiver, we identified a lot of things that
    were deficient in our ability to respond to attacks on all of our
    infrastructures, cyber infrastructure included," Air Force Maj. Gen. John
    Campbell, the commander of JTF-CND, told sister publication Defense Daily
    in a recent interview. "One of the things we took on was the problem of
    figuring out who's in charge in DoD, who's responsible for response... We
    didn't have a satisfactory command and control arrangement." 
    "The number one requirement [after Eligible Receiver] was the last thing
    we need is another staff organization," Campbell said. 
    Last summer, the Pentagon announced plans to spend $3.6 billion on
    computer security from 1999 through 2002. 
    In his former job as the deputy director of information operations on the
    Joint Staff (J-39), which he began in May 1997, Campbell spent a year
    putting together a plan on improving such command and control. Campbell,
    an F-15 and F-16 pilot and former wing commander at Aviano Air Base,
    Italy, moved from the Joint Staff to his office at the Defense Information
    Systems Agency (DISA) on Nov. 1. There he serves as both the vice director
    of DISA and as the head of the Joint Task Force. 
    The task force has 14 personnel now but is to have a full complement of 24
    by Jun. 1.  The JTF will execute its mission through component commanders
    from each of the services: Marine Brig. Gen. Robert Shea, the service's
    assistant chief of staff for command and control, communications,
    computers and intelligence; Navy Capt. George Allison, commander of the
    Naval Computers and Telecommunications Command in Washington, D.C.; Army
    Col. Jim Gibbons, the commander of the service's Land Information Warfare
    Activity at Ft. Belvoir, Va.; and Air Force Col. Jim Massaro, commander of
    the Air Force Information Warfare Center at Kelly AFB, Texas. 
    Pentagon officials have said that the Joint Task Force is an interim
    solution for the analysis of cyber attacks and the coordination of the
    resultant defense of DoD networks. A unified command may take on the
    mission, according to the Pentagon. 
    "When we started the discussion of this [JTF-CND] after Eligible Receiver,
    there was general agreement that eventually this was probably a mission
    area that ought to be under the control of a unified command.  Clearly you
    need to have warfighting authorities to do this the right way,"  Campbell
    The Joint Task Force's small size and well-defined, limited mission of
    defending DoD networks allowed it to begin operations sooner than if the
    Pentagon had immediately assigned the mission to a unified command.  The
    latter "would have taken a long time,"  Campbell said. Some have
    complained that the Pentagon should have taken on a wider, offensive
    mission as well, and defense officials continue to debate that point. 
    The Joint Task Force's budget for FY '99 is $5.2 million. The task force
    will be able to perform its functions for the next several years with
    approximately the same amount of money, Campbell said. 
    The JTF is using much of the money for extra command and control
    capabilities for the JTF, like the Joint Worldwide Intelligence
    Communication System (JWICS), secure "defense red switch" phone system and
    for training and contractor support. The JTF's operations center is
    co-located with the Global Operations and Security Center (GOSC), which
    operates DoD's long-haul communications backbone and detects cyber
    attacks, collects data on them from the military services and analyzes the
    The JTF is on call but is regularly open for business 16 hours a day, five
    days a week.  GOSC is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By summer,
    the JTF will be operating on the same schedule as the GOSC. The GOSC can
    analyze the attacks, while the JTF is able to command a response, possibly
    directing the GOSC to block certain Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that
    are the sources of the attacks, for example. 
    Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre visited the JTF component commanders
    in late December to tell them of the importance of the JTF's mission. 
    The Pentagon is especially concerned about the security of its
    unclassified systems which are used for support activities, like
    logistics, medical needs and personnel. 
    "We're relatively confident in the security of our classified network, "
    Campbell said. 
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