What Is Cyber Command?
Cadet Tera Corbari, center, participates in the 9th annual Cyber Defense Exercise last week. The exercise pitted West Point Cadets against teams from the four other service academies as they designed, built and configured a computer system. During the CDX the teams defended their networks against an outside attack from National Security Agency and Dept. of Defense personnel. The teams were evaluated on their ability to defend their networks and keep their systems on-line and available.
On May 21st, the Department of Defense officially activated a group called US Cyber Command, a United States armed forces sub-unified command subordinate to United States Strategic Command. Essentially, it's a group dedicated to fighting and preventing attacks to military computer networks. Military computers have always been the target of hackers trying to get into the system but as technology has improved, the attacks are more sophisticated and appear to be branching out from attacks by individuals to attacks by foreign governments. It's basically war except fought over computer networks instead of battlefields and fought with code instead of soldiers. We talk to veteran security expert Roger Cressey about what the agency is, what it does, and what the future of this war looks like.
We also speak with Richard A. Clarke. Clarke is perhaps best known for his book Against All Enemies wherein he recounts his many years of service advising various presidents on matters of national security, including serving in the George W. Bush administration in the months leading up to 9/11. In recent years, Clarke has focused on what he sees as a massive liability, computer network security. Clarke explains why privately owned and operated networks can't have the same level of protection that the Pentagon is trying to provide military networks.