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China, Iran and Russia are “relentless

PENTAGON: The Navy doesn’t have a good handle on how it is spending money to protect its networks against cyber attacks, a top leader says. In the wake of a stinging self-assessment of own cyber vulnerabilities released this spring, they’re rushing ahead to bring in a new management team to spearhead change.

“No one at a senior level of this department was responsible for this portfolio,” Navy undersecretary Thomas Modly told reporters here last week. “It was very distributed, so we found we were investing in things without any level of coordination…we’re spending a lot of money in this area right now, but we don’t understand where we’re spending it.”

Navy officials are banking on a soon-to-be-named cyber advisor to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer — who will bring aboard a staff empowered to make change — to be the catalyst to begin tackling these issues as the Pentagon struggles to keep foreign adversaries out of its networks, and those of US defense contractors.

China, Iran and Russia are “relentlessly hacking into our systems,” Modly said, “they’re trying to come at us in every possible way that they can.” Last year, reports emerged of Chinese hackers punching their way into the networks of US defense contractors, and making away with classified data on new weapons systems like a supersonic anti-ship missile and other sensitive plans for submarines.

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