DoD Brags That Sixty Percent of Network is Secured

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

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A few hours before WikiLeaks released a deluge of diplomatic communications last week, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman sent out an email exclaiming that sixty percent of the Department of Defense's networks were now being monitored by software to detect any inappropriate accessing of classified data.

According to security expert Hemu Nigam, the sixty percent secure figure is well below par:

"Only 60 percent? That's ridiculous. You would never hear a corporation saying they have anything less than 90 percent cyber security... It's all very basic, and very late."

Nigam also stated that he had been informed that other security measures were being implemented at the DoD in light of the unprecedented breach of classified data.

P.J. Crowley, the State Department's Press Secretary, told CNN that the DoD was still in the process of trying to determine exactly which files may have been compromised through the use of computer forensic investigation techniques:

"We've done forensics across the Defense Department, the State Department, they [WikiLeaks] do have more documents. We're not entirely sure what they are."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued statements that additional security measures would be implemented, including preventing the use of removable storage devices.

Nigam questions why these safeguards were not already in place:

"This is an easy fix to make -- I don't know any businesses that don't have this kind of wall up to protect sensitive internal information."

These revelations beg the question as to why the DoD, which has the single largest defense budget in the world, is so far behind on even the most basic security best practices.

More alarming is the fact that even with the hindsight provided by the WikiLeaks disclosures, the Pentagon is still having trouble determining the extent of the breach.

One has to wonder about the likelihood of other serious data security lapses that have not been so well publicized, and whether the Defense Department is even aware that they have occurred.

Source:  http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/02/wikileaks.computer.security/

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