DOD preps for possible cyberattacks brought on by Y2K

The Pentagon has started to develop plans that would shut back doors that hook its global networks to the Internet in case cyberfoes try to use any Year 2000 computer date code snafus to mount a cyberattack.

Marvin Langston, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for command, control communications and intelligence, declined to estimate the possibility of such a cyberassault. He said the Pentagon has started to develop contingency plans to protect its networks at the end of the year in case "cyberattackers try to mask themselves in the confusion."

"We want to be able to close down our back doors," said Langston, speaking at GovTechNet, a Washington, D.C., conference sponsored by FCW and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

Langston said hacker Web sites and discussion groups have mentioned seizing the opportunity to launch cyberattacks against DOD by using any computer or network that may be malfunctioning because of Year 2000 problems.

DOD "has to be prepared to deal with it," Langston said.

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