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Cyber Attacks against DoD on the Decline?

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Cyber attacks against the Defense Department declined in 2010, according to a report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and reported on by Wired’s Danger Room blog.

In the first half of 2010, there were some 30,000 malicious cyber incidents against the Pentagon. In 2009, there were about 71,000 such incidents.

And, if the rate of attacks continues for the rest of the year, “2010 could be the first year in a decade in which the quantity of logged events declines,” according to the report on China and the Internet, which is still in draft form, Wired reports.

Wired conjectures that the numbers are “in stark contrast to the sky-is-falling talk coming out of the Beltway.”

Fears of cyber attacks have risen greatly, precipitated by an attack in 2008, involving an infected flash drive that infested military networks. The Stuxnet worm that targeted Iran’s critical infrastructure only ratcheted up the intensity.

Top Pentagon leaders, such as Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III and the head of the recently minted U.S. Cyber Command Gen. Keith B. Alexander have made statements recently about the cyber threat the Pentagon faces.

Wired is quick to point out that the report’s findings don’t necessarily mean DoD is out of the cyber woods just yet. The decreased attacks are likely the result of the Pentagon doing a more vigorous job of securing its networks.

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