Some 24,000 files were stolen from the Pentagon in one of the largest security breaches in recent times, the American Department of Defense (@dodleaders | Facebook | Flickr) said today.
The announcement was made as the Department of Defense launched its Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace which outlines the department’s strategic interest in protecting the U.S in the online environment.
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III, who announced the security breach, which took place in March, described the larger problem of data security to corporate and national security, “It is a significant concern that over the past decade, terabytes of data have been extracted by foreign intruders from corporate networks of defense companies.”
Writing on their site the Department said, “Reliable access to cyberspace is critical to U.S. national security, public safety and economic well-being. Cyber threats continue to grow in scope and severity on a daily basis. More than 60,000 new malicious software programs or variations are identified every day threatening our security, our economy and our citizens.”
The document outlines five initiatives the DoD will take; which include,
- Treat cyberspace as an operational domain to organise, train, and equip so that DoD can take full advantage of cyberspace’s potential
- Employ new defense operating concepts to protect DoD networks and systems
- Partner with other U.S. government departments and agencies and the private sector to enable a whole-of-government cybersecurity strategy
- Build robust relationships with U.S. allies and international partners to strengthen collective cybersecurity
- Leverage the nation’s ingenuity through an exceptional cyber workforce and rapid technological innovation.
Governments around the world are increasingly looking at internet and cyber-security. In June the Pentagon said any hacking attempt against the US should be seen as “an act of war.”
In the UK the former Home Secretary, Lord Reid, has called for a complete review of national cyber security. Lord Reid said, “We desperately need a doctrine, a set of agile policies that shape the way we approach the challenges [of cybersecurity].”
In the UK alone hacking is believed to cost the economy £27 bn.
The Pentagon said the files were taken from a defence contractor in March although they did not give specific details about the types of documents taken or how they were taken.