House aids net defense
- By Dan Verton
- Jun 12, 2000
Congress targeted the Pentagon's "most serious vulnerabilities" with a $150
million increase in the fiscal 2001 Defense appropriations bill for information
assurance and computer network security programs.
The House approved a total of more than $250 million for Defense Department
information technology programs, which included $36 mil-lion for hardware
and software designed to help the Pentagon monitor its global networks for
The funding boost comes in the wake of the "love bug" computer virus,
which infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, including almost
every major federal agency. Although such virus attacks have highlighted
the gaps in the nation's critical infrastructure, the threat actually is
much more serious, according to a House Appropriations Committee report
on the bill.
"The threats posed by such seemingly random acts — in themselves real — pale in comparison to the potential dangers posed by those who seek to
damage American interests," the report said.
Congress praised the Pentagon's "Defense in Depth" information security
strategy and recommended that DOD be used as an example for all government
agencies to follow. "The committee believes that a concerted, focused effort
is needed to protect key information systems, not only by those within the
national security community but at all levels of government," the report
Although there is no "silver bullet" to solve the problem of information
security, according to the report, "a more appropriate response is a broad
approach intended to create multiple levels of protection and avoidance
of any single point of failure."