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Defense Cyber Research Spending to Go Up 50% by 2017

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to increase its cybersecurity research spending by 50 percent over the next five years, DARPA Director Regina Dugan said Monday according to a report in InformationWeek.

DARPA’s budget request for fiscal year 2012, which began Oct. 1, called for its cyber research funding to jump more than 73 percent to $208 million from $120 million, according to Reuters.

The potential damage a cyberattack can cause makes the field “one of the most intense challenges of our time,” Dugan said to an audience at DARPA’s first-ever Cyber Colloquium in Arlington.

“Modern warfare will demand the effective use of cyber, kinetic, and combined cyber and kinetic means,” Dugan said. “We need more options, we need more speed, and we need more scale. We must both protect its peaceful shared use as well as prepare for hostile cyber acts that threaten our military capabilities.”

Army Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, said one of the challenges of cyberspace is to play offense against threats. Too often, shoring up the country’s networks means sitting back and waiting for threats, Alexander said.

“They find a vulnerability, they penetrate the network, we find out about it several months later,” Alexander said according to Stars and Stripes. “We diagnose the malware, we set up the signature, we clean up our systems, we get everything set again and wait for the next exploitation.”

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