US President briefed about severe cyber-attack on Pentagon

Conflicting and muddled reports have emerged in the US media about a purported cyber-attack that struck the Pentagon’s computers last month. The only thing that appears certain at this point is that the attack “raised potential implications for national security” that were considered important enough to brief the President. It also appears that the malicious software-based attack severely affected computer networks at CentCom, which oversees US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to one report, the software originated in Russia and appeared “designed specifically to target military networks”. Another report claims the attack actually originated in China, although “[m]ilitary electronics experts have not pinpointed the source or motive of the attack”. The pattern of the reports appears to point to yet another case of “the Pentagon once again has no idea what’s the matter with their computer networks so they’re simply blaming the usual suspects (Russia and China) hoping to deflect attention from the dire security standards in government computer networks”. [JF]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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