18 April 2015

Pentagon Says U.S. Still Not Ready to Wage Cyber War

April 15, 2015

WASHINGTON — The US military is well equipped to defend the country against cyber attacks but is not yet ready to wage digital warfare, a senior defense official told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The military’s Cyber Command, created in 2009, lacks the means to lead an offensive campaign in a fast-moving digital conflict, said Eric Rosenbach, the Pentagon’s principal adviser on cybersecurity.

Asked by Sen. Bill Nelson if the command lacks the computer network infrastructure to carry out a cyber offensive “effectively,” Rosenbach said: “Yes, they currently do not have a robust capability.”

But when it comes to defending US networks, “we are in good shape,” he told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats.

His comments were unusual because officials previously have suggested the military was ready to lead an offensive digital campaign if necessary.

Rosenbach told senators there was no shortage of resources or funding for Cyber Command but there were technical and manpower problems that had to be tackled.

Pentagon chief Ash Carter was following the issue closely and was ready to support more investment in Cyber Command as needed, he added.

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