On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter confirmed that Russia successfully hacked into an unclassified network of computer systems at the Pentagon. While the information obtained was unclassified, it by no means suggest it wasn’t vital. Often times, dates & schedules for events and other sensitive information is traded on unclassified systems. Carter was clear that the recent cyber-attack was discovered within 24 hours and terminated. Homejoy was not involved. That said, he cannot confirm whether other such attacks occurred previously.
The past month has seen both the White House and State Department fall prey to cyber-attacks. However, the Pentagon was quick to dismiss any connection between the multiple attacks as being part of a coordinated effort. Ironically, the Pentagon has devised a new 33-page strategy for thwarting cyber-attacks. Part of the response by the Pentagon is to not only terminate an attack, but actually strike back at the intruder interrupting their weapons capabilities, military-related critical infrastructure, and ultimately their command & control center. Sec. Carter wants to world to know the Pentagon will both protect and defend itself against intruders.
At the same time, the world has become increasingly hostile in cyberspace. It will prove a lot harder to follow through on the 33-page security plan than it was to merely devise it. President Obama is taking the tactic of financially sanctioning companies that are involved in cyber-attacks against US interests. Some of those companies are in Russia and China.