US Defense Department Expands Cyber Command ‘Fivefold’

The US Defense Department’s Cyber Command is to get a swathe of fresh employees, as the government adds around 4,000 troops and civilians to the team, according to a report.

Thanks to Pentagon signing off a recruitment drive ;ate last year, this will give the cybersecurity division 4900 employees helping defend the US from attacks on its networks, the Washington Post noted.

Cyber command growing

There will be three main branches to the Cyber Command. The first will cover “national mission forces” that will look to protect national infrastructure, such as power plants, from attack. “Combat mission forces” will be used for offensive measures to supplement military operations on the ground, whilst the “cyber protection forces” will bolster the Defense Department’s networks.

The Cyber Command was set up back in 2009. It is currently headed up by General Keith Alexander, who is also the director of the NSA.

“Given the malicious actors that are out there and the development of the technology, in my mind, there’s little doubt that some adversary is going to attempt a significant cyberattack on the United States at some point,” warned William J Lynn III, former deputy defense secretary who helped write the Pentagon’s cyber security strategy.

The US has been talking up the cyber threat for some time now and has been implicated in some of the most sophisticated campaigns seen to date, such as the Stuxnet worm which hit Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

Last year, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta warned the country could be hit by a cyber equivalent of 9/11 or Pearl Harbour.

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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