Intercepts

The Hacker Equation

My mobile listening posts have discerned a confusing pattern of reports

on the number of hacker "attacks" launched against the Defense Department

each year.

It started out simple enough: Early last year, Air Force Maj. Gen. John

"Soup" Campbell, commander of the Joint Task Force for Computer Network

Defense, placed the number of "attacks" against DOD networks at 250,000

each year.

But in November 1999, Lt. Gen. David Kelley, director of the Defense

Information Systems Agency, talked about a 300 percent increase in the number

of "unauthorized intrusions."

Intrusions skyrocketed, according to Kelley, from 5,844 in 1998 to 18,433

through November 1999. (Campbell reported last week that this number topped

off at 22,144 for all of 1999.)

This year the numbers got more complicated. In March, Lt. Col. LeRoy

Lundgren, program manager for the Army's National Security Improvement Program,

said the Army alone denied as many as 285,000 network queries last year

because of questionable methods used in the queries. The Interceptor guesses

"network queries" are somehow similar to "attacks."

Enter the Justice Department. According to Justice, the number of hacking

cases throughout the government nearly doubled last year, reaching 1,154,

up from 547 in 1998. One look at these numbers and you have to wonder if

these guys even know that DOD is part of the federal government.

Then, of course, there are "incidents" and "intrusions" to deal with.

Lt. Gen. William Campbell, the Army's chief information officer, last week

told a crowd at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual symposium on information

assurance and battlefield visualization that the Army experienced 3,077

"incidents" during fiscal 1999 and 58 "intrusions." For fiscal 2000, those

numbers had reached 2,230 and 40, respectively, by April 4.

But "Soup" Campbell told the same crowd that in fiscal 1998 a total

of 5,844 incidents were reported to the Pentagon by DOD commands. In fiscal

1999, that number reached 22,144, and during the first three months of this

year, that number had already surpassed 5,993, Campbell said.

Confused? I am.

Serving Campbell Soup at the CIA

"Soup" Campbell told the Interceptor last week that he's received orders

to report in June to CIA headquarters, where he will take over as the director

of military support. Speaking at the AUSA symposium, Campbell also said

the JTF-CND recently added legal counsel to its official structure.

"I never thought I'd need a lawyer to do my business," Campbell said,

referring to the lack of legal guidelines governing computer network attack

and defense.

Hey, don't knock it, Soup. Legal counsel is highly underrated in this

world of error-prone databases and outdated hard-copy maps.

Fortunately, I hear that there's no shortage of lawyers in Langley,

Va.

Go West, Young Man

My E-Ring listening post in the heart of the Pentagon has picked up

several low-level signals indicating that Paul Brubaker, the Defense Department's

acting deputy chief information officer, plans to leave his position in

a matter of weeks.

A strong supporter of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet proposal, Brubaker

has apparently succumbed to "dot-com fever," according to sources, and will

be zapping himself out to the West Coast after he checks out of DOD. One

N/MCI insider said he hoped the move "is not a harbinger of the future"

for the beleaguered program.

Intercept something? Send it to the Interceptor at antenna@fcw.com.

Featured

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.