The Pentagon this fall expects to make permanent and expand a test program through which the Defense Department shared classified intelligence on cyber threats with select contractors to better secure commercial networks serving the military. The trial that ran from May 9 through Sept. 15 thwarted hundreds of attempted breaches at the roughly 20 participating firms from the defense industrial base, Pentagon officials said.
The Defense Department, in coordination with the Homeland Security Department, established the cyber pilot to help contractors and their Internet service providers safeguard networks critical to military operations. DHS deals with intrusions on critical civilian networks, such as power grids. As hacks and service disruptions increasingly jeopardize economic and national security, some experts say the armed forces should be playing a larger role in protecting those civilian systems. But many citizens and privacy advocates say they do not want the Pentagon snooping into private networks.