Securing the GCC
The Pentagon has recently disclosed details about a 2008 “Cyber Attack” which propagated via USB. The attack was categorized by William S. Lynn III, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, as “the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever”. In the wake of this event, it’s an opportune time to highlight the role of the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCC) in defending the Department of Defense (DoD) networks and providing an accurate, Intelligence lead threat picture of the global threat.
This activity highlights the importance of the GCC as a critical component to Global Information Grid (GiG) security, in particular cyber defense (CD). This may be contrary to what some people think about GiG security – that CYBERCOM (jointly with NSA) can effectively secure, defend the network, and provide mission assurance without the supportof the GCC’s. Consider that each mission is different – different architectures, different vulnerabilities, different geographic locations, different geo-political and regional security issues, and different threats. The GCC also has its own unique requirements on how they provide mission assurance, support operations and deal with various threats. It is critical that cyber become an integral part of each GCC’s missions success or failure. The GCC, if staffed properly, can provide an accurate theater centric, threat picture and vulnerability overview to the newly established US CYBERCOM. CYBERCOM and NSA must understand that by enabling operational elements, it is only through the GCC’s that CYBERCOM will achieve success, effectively supporting six unique and autonomous COCOMS.
The network used to begin the infection was purportedly located in the Middle East in CENTCOM’s Area of Responsibility (AOR). Using just a USB drive an unknown adversary was able to simultaneously infiltrate both classified and unclassified systems and transfer data to servers under foreign control.
Cyber2 understands the importance of the GCC’s role in cyber defense and is finalizing a white paper “Securing the AOR – Requirements for GCC Cyber Defense Analysis” that addresses cyber defense in terms of advanced persistent threats and their operations within a GCC’s AOR. If you would like to receive a copy of this white paper when it is completed please email .