The Obama administration plans to create a new military command to focus on Pentagon computer networks and offensive capabilities in cyberwarfare, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing current and former officials familiar with the plans.
The initiative will reshape the military’s efforts to protect its networks from attacks by hackers, especially those from countries such as China and Russia, the newspaper said.
Pentagon officials were quoted as saying the new command will be unveiled within the next few weeks.
The cyber command will likely to be led by a military official of four-star rank and initially would be part of the Pentagon’s Strategic Command, the newspaper said, citing officials familiar with the proposal.
Spokesmen for the Pentagon and White House were not immediately available for comment.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce a plan to improve cybersecurity this month after completion of a White House review of the issue, the Wall Street Journal said.
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Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to announce the creation of a new military ‘cyber command’ after the roll-out of the White House review, the report said, citing multiple military officials familiar with the plan.
The newspaper earlier reported that computer spies have repeatedly breached the Pentagon’s costliest weapons programme – the $300bn joint strike fighter project.
The identity of the attackers and the amount of damage to the project could not be learned, the paper said.
The Journal quoted former US officials as saying the attacks seemed to have originated in China, although it noted it was difficult to determine the origin because of the ease of hiding identities online.
The Chinese Embassy said China ‘opposes and forbids all forms of cyber crimes’, the Journal said.