Experts are today calling for the Whitehouse to take control of cybersecurity, a responsibility that currently falls under the Department of Homeland Security’s scope of duty.
Today a report in the New York Times cites Melissa Hathaway, acting senior director for cyberspace appointed by President Obama, as saying the White House needed to step in and take control of the nation’s cybersecurity policy.
Hathaway was given responsibility for a 60-day review of the issues surrounding cyberspace threats. Yesterday, the federal official said the issue “required leading from the top,” starting from the White House and running right down through, “departments and agencies, state, local, tribal governments, the C-Suite, and to the local classroom and library.”
Yesterday, National Security Agency Director and three-star army general Keith Alexander called for a "team" approach to cybersecurity that would see the NSA take care of protecting military and intelligence networks while the Department of Homeland Security protected government networks.
All of this follows an alleged breach of Pentagon security which apparently saw terabytes of data stolen from the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project. While initial reports say hackers accessed the information by exploiting a vulnerabilities in the networks of two or three contractors helping with the development of the program, contractors say reports are incorrect. The WSJ yesterday reported that Lockheed Martin Corp., the lead contractor involved in the program, said Tuesday that it believed the publications report was "incorrect in its representation of successful cyber attacks."
"To our knowledge, there has never been any classified information breach," the statement said. The WSJ countered this with the fact that at no point did they report that the stolen information was classified.