Pentagon pleas for cyber peace fall on deaf ears

Hackers keep doing it for themselves

Hackers probing the Pentagon's cyber defences have taken no heed of the ministry's pleas for them to stop their incursions.

A spokesman for the government body appeared at the hackers' convention Defcon 8 to appeal to hackers to work with the government instead of constantly attacking it. It tried tempting them with promises of access to groovy gadgets and the latest technology.

However, the hackers have all but ignored the request according to Richard Schaeffer, who heads the cyber-security office in the Pentagon arm responsible for command, control, communications and intelligence. The poor response has not surprised Pentagon officials.

Last year, over 22,000 "attacks"' were detected on Defence Department networks, congress was told in March. Just a year earlier there had been just under 6000 similar attempted incursions. So far this year there have been over 13,000 "attacks", classified as probes, viruses, intrusions or scans.

At a Web Defence' conference on business solutions to online crime, Schaeffer said the government would like to take hackers out of the equation as much as possible, to make it easier to spot genuine threats from foreign sources.

He also said that he was reasonably sure that the classified portions of the Pentagon had not been breached. Perhaps this will spark more interest in the hacking community than the enticements of the military. ®

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