US Cyber Command in 'fivefold' staff expansion

Defence Secretary Panetta warns in November of a "cyber Pearl Harbour"

Related Stories

The Pentagon will dramatically increase its cyber-security staff to counter threats against US government computer networks, according to media reports.

US Cyber Command, established three years ago, could grow as much as fivefold over the next few years.

The planned expansion comes amid a series of successful attacks, including a virus that wiped data from 30,000 computers at a Saudi oil firm.

Cyber Command currently has 900 staff members, both military and civilian.

Defence officials told the Washington Post, which first reported the staff increase, that the Pentagon had approved an expansion to 4,900 troops and civilians.

Another official told Reuters news agency that the force would be expanded significantly, though details were still being worked out.

The expansion comes at a time when the US military is balancing decreased budgets and a shift towards Asia and the Pacific.

According to reports, the plan calls for creating three types of forces under the Cyber Command: protecting computer systems that involve electrical grids and other kinds of infrastructure, offensive operations overseas as well as protection of the defence department's internal systems.

Outgoing Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has previously stressed the importance of the Pentagon's cyber-security efforts.

"We've got good people that are involved in it, but, very frankly," he said in November speech at a defence think tank, "if we're going to stay on the cutting edge of what's happening with regards to the changes that are occurring, we have got to invest more in that area."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • The AmericansThe good guys?

    A US TV show examining the Cold War is offering a radical revision of history, writes Eric Kohn


  • A person wears a mask at the Vevcani Carnival in MacedoniaThe Travel Show Watch

    The masked Balkan carnival attracting thousands to the streets of Vevcani

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.