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Defense Dept. Cyber Czar Sounds Alarm

While the environmental and economic disaster in the Gulf Coast continues to metastasize, the Obama administration is stepping up its efforts through policy and personnel to protect the U.S. from cyber attacks that could potentially pose even greater consequences.

eSecurity Planet takes a closer look at Gen. Keith Alexander's first public comments since taking the leadership post of the Defense Department's new Cyber Command unit..

Along with fending off literally millions of unauthorized probes of the nation's most sensitive and critical networks a day, Gen. Alexander is also responsible for overseeing the U.S. military's own strategy to use technology offensively to protect and enhance our nation's security priorities.

Like so many other pundits and officials in the cybersecurity limelight, he made it clear that to even begin protecting the country from nation- or organization-sponsored cyber attacks, U.S. technology vendors first need to get back to the basics of IT blocking and tackling by writing clean code and simplifying and securing configuration of these moving IT parts.

And because critical data networks and cybercrime syndicates are international, he said the U.S. must play a leadership role in defining the legal and political protocols for effective international standards and laws.

In his first public engagement since taking charge of the Defense Department's new cybersecurity command, Gen. Keith Alexander described the enormity of the challenge his organization faces in securing military networks from a bewildering array of attacks.

"Today our nation's interests are in jeopardy," Alexander said in an address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

Alexander offered an alarming estimate of the intensity of the threats against military systems, saying the 15,000 networks the Defense Department maintains are probed by unauthorized users roughly 250,000 times an hour, or 6 million times each day.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
Defense Dept. Cyber Chief Warns of Mounting Threats