24,000 Pentagon Files Stolen in Cyberattack


A Pentagon official says some 24,000 Department of Defense files were “lost” in March in a cyberattack on a military contractor. It may be the most damaging breach the U.S. military has seen.

In a speech on the Pentagon’s cyber strategy Thursday, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III didn’t disclose what kind of files were stolen or who took them.

The department relies on a huge system of networks — more than 15,000 networks and 7 million computing devices around the world — for its military, intelligence and business operations.

“The department and the nation have vulnerabilities in cyberspace,” a Defense report states. “Our reliance on cyberspace stands in stark contrast to the inadequacy of our cybersecurity – the security of the technologies that we use each day.”

Foreign nations, foreign intelligence organizations and non-state actors are working to exploit and disrupt the Department of Defense’s unclassified and classified networks, according to the report.

“National security is being redefined by cyberspace,” the report states.

Lynn outlined the Department of Defense’s five strategies for operating in cyberspace:

  • Treat cyberspace as an operational domain to organize, 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.

[via The Washington Post]

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