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Obama set to create 'cyber czar' position

01 июня 2009

President Barack Obama announced on Friday the creation of a "cyber czar" position, stepping up his administration's efforts to better protect the nation's computer networks.

The White House appointment will be followed in coming days by the formal creation of a new military cyber command that will coordinate the defense of Pentagon computer networks and improve U.S. offensive capabilities in cyberwarfare.

The cybersecurity chief will report to both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, a compromise resulting from a fierce White House turf battle over the responsibilities and powers of the new office.

Mr. Obama won't announce on Friday the person who will fill the new job. That isn't expected for at least a few more days.

Acting White House cybersecurity chief Melissa Hathaway, who ran the administration's broad review of its cyber policies, is one candidate. Other potential candidates are thought to include Microsoft Corp. Vice President Scott Charney, a former government official who ran the Justice Department's computer-crime unit, and Maureen Baginski, who has held senior posts at the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The moves come amid growing evidence that sophisticated overseas hackers are waging a widening assault on important U.S. networks. The Defense Department detected 360 million attempts to penetrate its networks last year, up from six million in 2006. The Pentagon alone has spent $100 million in the past six months repairing damage from cyberattacks.

U.S. officials acknowledge that the hackers, believed to be mainly from Russia and China, are having some success. The Wall Street Journal reported this spring that cyberspies breached both the nation's electricity grid and the Pentagon's biggest weapons program, the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighters.

"I'd like to say that our networks are secure, but that would not be correct," Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, who runs the National Security Agency, told lawmakers this month."We have vulnerabilities."

Gen. Alexander is expected to run the new military cyber command that will be created after the White House rolls out the results of its 60-day review of the government's efforts to protect key public and private networks.

Источник: Total Telecom

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