November 1, 2014

Pentagon set to make fivefold increase to cybersecurity force

the pentagon(LiveHacking.Com) – The Pentagon is going to make a fivefold increase to its cybersecurity force in a move designed to bolster the USA’s ability to defend itself in cyberspace. The major expansion, which is will be made over the next several years, is designed to increase the country’s protection of critical computer systems as well as improve the USA’s powers to conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the expansion was requested by the head of the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, a unit which until now has focused mainly on cyber defense. Under the new plans the unit will be able to carry out more attacks in cyberspace. To do this the current 900 personnel will be expanded to 4,900 including troops and civilians.

The new  Cyber Command will include three types of forces:

  1. National mission forces – to protect computer systems that undergird electrical grids, power plants and other infrastructure deemed critical to national and economic security
  2. Combat mission forces – to help commanders abroad plan and execute attacks or other offensive operations
  3. Cyber protection forces – to fortify the Defense Department’s networks.

“Given the malicious actors that are out there and the development of the technology, in my mind, there’s little doubt that some adversary is going to attempt a significant cyberattack on the United States at some point,” said William J. Lynn III, a former deputy defense secretary who helped fashion the Pentagon’s cybersecurity strategy. “The only question is whether we’re going to take the necessary steps like this one to deflect the impact of the attack in advance or . . . read about the steps we should have taken in some post-attack commission report.”

Pentagon Readying National Cyber Range

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military, is developing the National Cyber Range (NCR) to provide realistic, quantifiable
assessments of the Nation’s cyber research and development technologies.

This “virtual firing range” is intended to be a replica of the real Internet allowing researches (working on classified and unclassified projects) can mimic international cyberwars to test their defences. The NCR should be ready by next year and will also help the Pentagon to train its own hackers and refine the skills needed to protect US information systems, both military and domestic.

Planning for the Cyber Range was carried out by Lockheed Martin, which won a $30.8 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant, and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which won $24.7 million.

It is hoped the NCR will be a flexible test bed that can simulate government, military and commercial networks as well as human aspects. The human behavior simulation has to be able to respond as a person would under defense readiness condition (DefCon) and information operations condition (InfoCon) as well as carry out execution of war plans.

The NCR will forensically collect, analyze, visualize, and present data and information from the tests. Knowledge and insights gained during testing will assist operators and evelopers as they refine, research, and develop operations, technologies, policies and procedures to strengthen cyber security.