According to media reports, Obama’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year is calling for more military “hackers” to head off escalating online attacks from China, Iran, Russia and a number of other countries. It turned out that there will be extra money to bolster defenses for the authorities and private-sector computer networks. The interesting fact is that neither China nor Russia are funded for attacking the United States.
The announcement in question followed calls from intelligence officials. They claimed that hacker attacks and espionage are now more important than terrorism in terms of the security threats facing the United States.
Air Force general Robert Kehler has explained to space and cyber industry executives recently that it was time the United States had to lock its doors because someone from halfway around the world was trying to hack its networks. In the meantime, the Pentagon claimed that the spending would beef up American defenses against increasing hacker attacks, while boosting its offensive capabilities.
So, the president’s budget proposes to boost Defense Department spending on online threats to $4.7 billion. This is $800 million more than earlier, but the rest of the Pentagon’s overall spending budget will be cut by $3.9 billion. It wants to expand its Cyber Command, a team of military hackers conducting “reconnaissance, surveillance, development, maintenance and analysis”. In addition, it is going to expand efforts to protect its own computer networks.
In the meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is planning to spend $44 million more on a government-wide data-sharing effort, even despite the fact that its overall budget will be cut by $615 million (1.5%). The rest of the cash will be spent on funding more cyber-security research and helping private businesses and local authorities to bolster their cyber defenses.