DOD database to fight cybercrime

The Defense Department is on the verge of completing a common database to

aid the defense and intelligence communities in battling cybercrime, according

to the new commander of the Pentagon's Joint Task Force for Computer Network

Defense.

The database will enable those involved in computer emergency response

across DOD, the intelligence agencies and the FBI to share information critical

to protecting their networks against intruders.

The database is in the final stages of development and likely will be

"an operational reality" in early 2001, said Maj. Gen. James Bryan, who

commands the JTF-CND.

"Having the ability to create a common database and to share that database

allows us to take advantage of modern Web techniques in regard to management,

reporting and alerting," said Bryan, who also serves as the vice director

of the Defense Information Systems Agency.

One of the main benefits, according to Bryan, is that the department

will be able to collect data on cyberattacks or attempted attacks, categorize

them and better understand them.

"Storing them in a database that can be shared means we can profile

the threats so that we can see patterns of activity that will allow us to

do a much better job of understanding and describing what's going on and

taking the proper actions to counter it," Bryan said.

"Also, I think a shared database allows people to do what humans do

best, and that is to share ideas," he said. "The really qualified people

in this computer network warfare business are a fairly small community of

experts, and this database will provide them a forum and opportunity not

only to share data but to share ideas as well."

The database is only one of several initiatives the task force is undertaking

to build its arsenal of cyberwarfare weaponry. Others include developing

automated technologies for monitoring the network, reporting intrusion events

and improving response time.

"We've got to develop more real-time intrusion detection and ways of

reporting without becoming intrusive ourselves," Bryan said. "We're developing

technology that will allow us to automatically sense whether our firewalls

have the right configuration within them or whether the antivirus updates

are in fact up to date."

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