Although he U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission reports about 30,000 incidents of malicious cyber activity in the first six months of 2010, a draft federal report states the number of attacks on the Pentagon’s networks has decreased. As reported on Wired, there is a sharp contrast between the scare talk of generals and the actual figures presented in the federal report. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn suggests intrusions have increased exponentially, retired Adm. Mike McConnell said USA was losing the cyber-war and U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency chief Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander said he was alarmed by the number of times military networks were scanned for potential weak spots. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission however notes that 2010 could be the first year in which the number of events has declined in over a decade.
“The report cautioned that the drop in ‘malicious activity … may or may not represent a decrease in the volume of attempts to penetrate defense and military networks.’ Instead, the Pentagon seems to be doing a little better job in securing its networks, ever since a relatively-unsophisticated worm made its way onto hundreds of thousands of military computers in late 2008.
During ‘Operation Buckshot Yankee’ the subsequent clean-up effort, military leaders found that they were unable to gather even the most basic information about how their computers were configured — and what programs might be living in their networks.