Report: Pentagon Is Unprepared for Cyberwar

Share it on Twitter  
Share it on Facebook  
Share it on Linked in  

A new report by the Defense Science Board warns that the U.S. military is unprepared to defend itself against a full-scale cyber attack.

"The 138-page report by the panel of civilian and government experts bluntly states that, despite numerous Pentagon actions to parry sophisticated attacks by other countries, efforts are 'fragmented' and the Defense Department 'is not prepared to defend against this threat,'" writes The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima. "The report lays out a scenario in which cyberattacks in conjunction with conventional warfare damaged the ability of U.S. forces to respond, creating confusion on the battlefield and weakening traditional defenses."

"The conclusions in the report are grim, even by the often Cassandra-like standards of the cybersecurity industry," writes Computerworld's Jaikumar Vijayan. "'The benefits to an attacker using cyber exploits are potentially spectacular,' the report warns. 'Should the United States find itself in a full-scale conflict with a peer adversary, attacks would be expected to include denial of service, data corruption, supply chain corruption, traitorous insiders, kinetic and related non-kinetic attacks at all altitudes from underwater to space.'"

"The report warns of cyber attacks that could disrupt military actions by turning U.S. weapons against its own troops and also corrupt the supply chains, and of civilian attacks that could disrupt food and medical distribution systems and make transportation systems 'useless,'" writes InformationWeek's J. Nicholas Hoover. "Despite the committee's concerns, however, the Defense Science Board says it thinks the challenges manageable. 'The Department can effectively manage the risks presented by the cyber threat,' the report notes."

"To remedy its cyber deficiencies, the DOD must take a number of steps, including protecting nuclear strike capabilities as a deterrent, building the right mix of cyber and conventional capabilities to operate against a full-spectrum adversary, and refocusing intelligence and collection analysis to enable cyber counterstrategies, the report states," writes Defense Systems' William Welsh.