Cybervillains come under fire

The Defense Department plans to batten down the hatches on its networks with a new
staff at the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Defense Secretary William Cohen last month approved the creation of the Joint Task
Force on Computer Network Defense to coordinate responses to cyberattacks on DOD systems.

The task force will work out of DISA’s Global Operations Security Center in
Arlington, Va. Air Force Maj. Gen. John Campbell, DISA’s vice director, will command
a 24-person staff drawn from DISA, the services, and intelligence and law enforcement

JTF-CND will have its own Staff Judge Advocate as well as an internal law enforcement
and counterintelligence cell, including representatives from all DOD criminal
investigative agencies, Campbell said. The task force will link with other agencies,
including the FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center, to share network
security data.

“DISA makes an ideal host for the JTF because of its existing global network
management mission, close relationships with the unified commands, established liaisons
with the law enforcement community, and its intrusion analysis and core technical
capabilities,” Campbell said.

The task force, which expects to be up and running this summer, will serve as the nerve
center for organizing defensive measures against assaults on military networks and
systems. JTF-CND will have a round-the-clock network monitoring capability to detect
intrusions and potential threats.

In the event of an attack, the task force will direct departmentwide actions to halt or
contain damage and restore systems operations. Forces from all three services, including
the Air Force Information Warfare Center at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas,
are assigned to JTF-CND.

“We are working toward an integrated set of tools and procedures, which will
facilitate real-time notification and defensive actions to defend the Defense Information
Infrastructure,” Campbell said.

Because the task force is not yet assigned to a unified command, JTF-CND will report to
Cohen through the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its budget this year will be $5.2
million—$1.5 million from DISA and $1.2 million from each of the services. 


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