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31 October 2008, 09:25

US Army sets up special new task force to protect against cyber attacks

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The US Army has set up a new task force for the protection against cyber attacks. The Defense Industrial Base Cyber Security Task Force (DIB CSTF) will combat the apparently widespread theft of controlled but unclassified information from computer systems. The group will have an annual budget of $1.2m. According to a report issued by the US Army last AugustPDF, such incidents can "potentially undermine and even neutralise the technological advantage and combat effectiveness of the future force".

The task force mainly focuses on information about weapons developed for the Pentagon in arms factories. According to the report, the US Army hasn't kept pace with the risks posed by the "digitalisation of information and globalisation of economic activity" when co-operating with arms suppliers. As business transactions and record-keeping moves online, adversaries can steal "large volumes of unclassified program information in a single attack", potentially enabling them to narrow a technological gap, said the report. Because of globalisation, the Pentagon now co-operates with a larger number of non-US companies. This increases the risk that "malicious or counterfeit components" could be inserted into US Army weapons systems. There is a risk that such components could be integrated into systems to modify or steal data at a later date, said the report.


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