Last updated: June 29, 2010 - 7:58am
The new head of the U.S. Cyber Command, Gen. Keith Alexander, revealed this month that Pentagon systems are attacked 250,000 times an hour, 6 million times a day.
The attackers range from foreign intelligence agents to for-profit criminal enterprises to hackers trying to make mischief, security specialists say. "In short, we face a dangerous combination of known and unknown vulnerabilities," said Alexander, who also heads the National Security Agency. As the federal government moves to address those vulnerabilities, defense contractors such as Boeing are pushing aggressively to win lucrative contracts. Companies accustomed to selling weapons to the government also are bidding for work in secret military programs to develop offensive cyberwarfare tools. At the heart of the debate is the reality that hackers are aiming at business networks as well as home computers with increasingly sophisticated techniques. They are trying to steal everything from intellectual property to personal financial information — or perhaps they merely hope to cripple systems in "denial of service" attacks. The National White Collar Crime Center reported $560 million in losses from a variety of Internet crimes last year, more than double the reported losses a year before.
- In cyberwarfare, rules of engagement still hard to define
- Senate set to consider NSA chief as head of Cyber Command
- Cyber-Command May Help Protect Civilian Networks
- Is All The Talk About Cyberwarfare Just Hype?
- Cyberwar Nominee Sees Gaps in Law
- Rise Is Seen in Cyberattacks Targeting U.S. Infrastructure
- Gen Keith Alexander confirmed to head cyber-command
- Pentagon creating teams to launch cyberattacks as threat grows
- NSA chief envisions 'secure zone' on Internet to guard against attacks
- General Alexander: Nation needs DHS involved in cybersecurity
- Pentagon's Cyber Command seeks authority to expand its battlefield
- Cyber Command chief urges action on information-sharing legislation
- Senators worried about policy gap for new Cyber Command
- Time for Congress to offer help against cyber attacks
- Defense cyber chief: The cloud is the military's next Internet