US cyber war defences 'very thin', Pentagon warns
Published: 17th Mar 2011 01:05:32
The US military lacks the people and resources to defend the country adequately from concerted cyber attacks, the head of the Pentagon's cyber command has warned.
"We are very thin, and a crisis would quickly stress our cyber forces," Gen Keith Alexander told Congress.
The US says government systems are attacked millions of times a day.
Disputes over budgets are holding up a new cyber protection system ordered by the Department of Homeland Security.
However, some argue the threat of cyber warfare is greatly exaggerated.
Gen Alexander, head of the US Defence Department's Cyber Command, told a Congressional Committee that he would mark as a "C" the military's ability to protect Pentagon networks, although he acknowledged improvements in recent years.
"We are finding that we do not have the capacity to do everything we need to accomplish. To put it bluntly, we are very thin, and a crisis would quickly stress our cyber forces," he said.
"We cannot afford to allow cyberspace to be a sanctuary where real and potential adversaries can marshal forces and capabilities to use against us and our allies. This is not a hypothetical danger."
US officials say cyber criminals, terrorists and other nations are getting better at penetrating state and private networks, whether to spy, to steal data or damage critical infrastructure.
But speaking last month, leading security expert Bruce Schneier told the BBC that the emotive rhetoric around "cyber warfare" did not match the reality.
"What we are seeing is not cyber war but an increasing use of war-like tactics and that is what is confusing us. We don't have good definitions of what cyber war is, what it looks like and how to fight it," Mr Schneier said.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. US cyber war defences 'very thin', Pentagon warns [Online] (Updated 17th Mar 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/138668/US-cyber-war-defences-very-thin-Pentagon-warns [Accessed 25th Jul 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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