Investigators ‘routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities’
Major U.S. weapons systems are increasingly vulnerable to hacking attacks, according to federal investigators who “routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities” in multiple critical systems operated by the Department of Defense.
The Defense Department has been caught flatfooted when it comes to protecting critical systems that oversee and run an increasing number of U.S. defense systems, according to a new Government Oversight Report that warns defense officials have little understanding of how to protect these systems from hacking attacks by foreign governments and other rogue actors.
“The Department of Defense (DOD) faces mounting challenges in protecting its weapon systems from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats,” according to the 50-page report, which is fueling concerns on Capitol Hill. “This state is due to the computerized nature of weapon systems; DOD’s late start in prioritizing weapon systems cybersecurity; and DOD’s nascent understanding of how to develop more secure weapon systems. DOD weapon systems are more software dependent and more networked than ever before.”
As the Defense Department invests more than $1.66 trillion to develop major weapons systems, “potential adversaries have developed advanced cyber-espionage and cyber-attack capabilities that target DOD systems,” according to the report.
The security of these systems remains a top priority, yet glaring gaps remain, according to tests performed by government officials who were resistant to criticism about these cyber vulnerabilities.
“In operational testing, DOD routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities in systems that were under development, yet program officials GAO met with believed their systems were secure and discounted some test results as unrealistic,” according to the report.
Tests performed with “simple tool and techniques” breached defense system security. In some cases, weapons systems security had never been tested at all.
Full article: U.S. Weapons Systems Vulnerable to Cyberhacks, Report Warns (Washington Free Beacon)