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FCW : June 30, 2015
Weapons systems remain vulnerable to hacking despite the billions of dollars the Defense Department spends annu- ally on cybersecurity, Pentagon officials have acknowledged. There are 9 million lines of code in the F-35 joint strike fighter jet, plus 15 million lines in support systems, said Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at IT-Harvest. Cleaning up all the code in the weapons systems being produced for DOD would cost hundreds of bil- lions of dollars, he added. “In other words, if we ever go to war with a sophisticated adversary or have a battle, they could pull out their cyber weapons and make us look pretty fool- ish,” he said. Big weapons are, in essence, big com- puters because of their reliance on IT, and that reliance is a boon for poten- tial adversaries, said Carl Herberger, a former electronic warfare officer in the Air Force. “From an adversarial perspective, [what is] really wonderful about this issue is that they really get to level the playing field in a way” that would not otherwise be possible, added Herberger, who is now vice president of security solutions at Radware. Untold lines of code make Pentagon weapons vulnerable of federal CIOs and CISOs report they are using or planning to implement shared services 93% Trending Furthermore, a U.S. government doc- ument leaked by former National Securi- ty Agency contractor Edward Snowden alleges that Chinese hackers have stolen terabytes of data on the F-35. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, has made cybersecurity in weapons a key piece of Better Buying Power 3.0, the latest round of acquisi- tion guidance to all DOD components. “Each service, each program has got to go through and ensure that the fielded systems, as well as the ones in development, are as secure as we can reasonably make them,” he told report- ers recently. “Many of the things that are in the field today were not developed and fielded with cybersecurity in mind.” Each military branch’s component of Cyber Command has a role in try- ing to make weapons systems more secure. Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, head of Army Cyber Command, said in a recent interview that he was concerned by the cyber vulnerabilities inherent in weapons systems. However, many Army systems, such as tanks, can still operate in a “degraded mode” if hacked, Cardon said, adding that the same might not be true for aircraft and ships. “There’s growing recognition that [we, as a society, are] hooking things up to the Internet that we never intended to hook up to the Internet,” Cardon said. Monetary help could be on the way from Congress. The Senate Armed Ser- vices Committee recently approved a fiscal 2016 defense policy bill that would authorize $200 million for “a new ini- tiative to enable the services to begin evaluating all major weapons systems for cyber vulnerabilities,” according to a markup summary. Faced with such a daunting chal- lenge, the operative word might be “begin.” — Sean Lyngaas FCW CALENDAR Data Act ACT-IAC will host a professional development event focused on the technical and cultural challenges — and performance and open-data benefits — of implementing the Data Act. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/FCW_DataAct Defense IT Washington Technology’s DOD Industry Day will explore the top 10 defense opportunities and detail the major acquisition vehicles for 2015 and beyond. Falls Church, Va. http://is.gd/WT_DOD_IT 7/29 7/23 FINAL DAYS! Nominations for the 2015 Rising Star awards are due July 9. Submit yours at fcw.com/2015risingstars. “Many of the things that are in the field today were not developed and fielded with cybersecurity in mind.” — FRANK KENDALL, DEFENSE DEPARTMENT June 30, 2015 FCW.COM 3 0630fcw_003-007.indd 3 6/10/15 9:02 AM
June 15, 2015
July 15, 2015