House panel wants cybersecurity briefing

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 Federal Computer Week.

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