The New Operational Domain

The Defense Department must recognize that cyberspace is the newest “operational domain” before it can fully prepare for the “uncertain future” in that realm, said Zachary Lemnios, director of defense research and engineering. However, that’s no simple feat given that the hacker “always has the advantage” in the virtual world, Lemnios told reporters Thursday in Washington DC. The best protection, he said, is to build a resilient “construct to live in that world that will recognize the attack.” His comments came just days after Lt. Gen. William Lord, USAF’s chief information officer, told airmen at Hanscom AFB, Mass., that hackers are no longer bothering with the service’s firewalls. Instead, they are going directly for its network applications, of which USAF has more than 19,000. Lord said USAF cyber experts at Maxwell AFB, Ala., examined about 200 applications and discovered that “all of them had over 50 vulnerabilities.” (Includes Hanscom report by Chuck Paone)