Defense Department Pretty Much Incompetent In Dealing With Online Threats

from the but-of-course dept

Last year, we noted that there was something of an internal executive branch fight over who had the mandate to deal with so-called "cybersecurity" threats: the Defense Department (mainly the NSA) or Homeland Security. Neither group is ideal, obviously, but the Defense Department's claims were definitely much more ridiculous, in that it seemed like the entire point of asking for control over online security was to grant the NSA more spying powers. In fact, we found it somewhat hilarious that the DoD seemed to think that one of its best qualifications for managing digital security issues was its own incompetence in dealing with massive security breaches. Yes, the logic was basically "we had crappy security, so we know that online threats are real." Yeah.

Now, as a bunch of folks have been pointing out, the GAO has put out a brutal report, explaining just how incredibly incompetent the Pentagon has been in both understanding and dealing with any kind of online threats. The full report (pdf) is pretty direct in suggestion that the DoD has known about problems for ages, but has only just started addressing the problems -- and the report says it's too early to tell if they've had any real impact at all.

While we've long said that the risk of "cyberwar" is blown way out of proportion, that doesn't mean that there aren't many attempts to breach government digital security. Tragically, this report suggests that the DoD is woefully unprepared to deal with the issues, and is only just now trying to catch up (potentially from a position well behind any adversaries.).
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Filed Under: cybersecurity, defense department, nsa


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  1. icon
    One Tom too Many (profile), 1 Aug 2011 @ 4:54am

    Couldn't Agree More...

    Having worked for the military for longer than I care to admit, I REALLY don't have any faith in what they can do in "cybersecurity" since they can't even figure out just "what" it is. The Air Force is the most comical of the bunch since they "obviously" know that "Space" is part of "Cyberspace" and should, therefore, have CYBER Command up under SPACECOMMAND run by "Spacemen" or Pilots or even Missileers rather than, oh say, in an agency with someone who just might grok what the hell it really is and what it should do (something about that "operational stink adding validity to it). Anyway, wishful thinking on my part and I'm hanging up my geek cred since it has been tainted by guvvie work, so I probably don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

    However, if the US Gov't WERE so competent in their cyberspace dealings (in a Hollywood imagined reality) there would NOT have been a Bradley Manning in the first place and Wikileaks would have been Wiki-tightened before anything got out in a hot ASSange minute. The MafiAAs aren't even that good either so I guess I'll stick to free-tarding it.

    And that's about all I have to say on those matters other than I also would not work at any of the aforementioned organizations since their leadership are either old-school military technophobes still trying to figure it out or DHS/FBI gumshoe detectives that can't follow the law as correctly as they should as is evidenced by all the techdirt articles and the incestuous relationship they have with Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Entertainment, and the MafiAAs.

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