In the wake of the Sony Pictures hack the Obama administration is to establish a new government agency which will “combat the deepening threat from cyberattacks,” according to the Washington Post.
The newspaper explains that, later today, the US president’s counterterrorism chief will announce the new agency, which will be known as the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. It will be modelled on the National Counterterrorism Center, which was set up following the September 11th attacks — when the government was criticised for failing to share effectively share and act on intelligence.
After the recent Sony hack, the FBI, NSA and CIA all drew different conclusions. The CTIIC will instead acts as a centralized agency to bring together a cohesive response. The agency will initially be staffed with 50 people, working with a budget of $US35 million a year. It will, the newspaper claims, not conduct any surveillance work itself, instead working with public and private partners to detects possible threats.
It’s not clear exactly how the organisation will differentiate itself from other government agencies though. Indeed, former White House cybersecurity coordinator Melissa Hathaway said to the paper that “we should not be creating more organisations and bureaucracy. We need to be forcing the existing organisations to become more effective — hold them accountable.”
Quite how effective the agency will prove remains to be seen, then. But one thing is clear: the US government is definitely taking digital warfare far more seriously than ever. [Washington Post]