House committee requests briefing on stolen data

DOD to establish cyber command to manage network security

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee have asked Defense Department officials for a briefing on cybersecurity amid reports that data about the Joint Strike Fighter was stolen.

The letter sent April 21 to Defense Secretary Robert Gates referred to a report in the Wall Street Journal that said computer spies infiltrated DOD’s Joint Strike Fighter Program. The letter was signed by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), the committee's chairman, and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the panel's ranking member. .

According to the published report, information about the fighter’s electronics may have been stolen, and the cyberattack might have come from a foreign source.

“If true, these allegations are serious and potentially far-reaching,” the letter states. “Given the potential national security implications of this matter, we hereby request that the department provide committee staff with a briefing regarding the events alleged in the above article.”

A report in the Washington Post today says the Obama administration plans to direct DOD to establish a cyber command to manage security for military computer networks. DOD officials did not respond to a request for an interview.

In February, President Barack Obama directed his national security and homeland security advisers to conduct a cybersecurity review. The 60-day interagency review concluded this month, officials said.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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