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Obama boosts military, 'black' and spook cyber forces

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US President Barack Obama wants to increase spending on cyber security in his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2014, which starts in October.

Obama said that he wanted to increase the military cyber forces led by the US Cyber Command and bump up funding for cyber security information sharing in the Department of Defense (DoD) allocation.

"We must confront new dangers, like cyber attacks, that threaten our nation’s infrastructure, businesses, and people," said POTUS.

"The budget supports the expansion of government-wide efforts to counter the full scope of cyber threats, and strengthens our ability to collaborate with state and local governments, our partners overseas, and the private sector to improve our overall cybersecurity."

The president pointed out in the budget that recent attacks on banks in the States and on the government showed that no network was immune to attack. To combat these attacks, Obama wants to expand the government's cyber expertise and link up different cybersecurity centres and analytics "in real time".

"This system will also develop and publish machine-readable interoperable technical standards that will allow for automated information sharing. The goal is for relevant pieces of information to make their way to authorised users throughout the government, to help connect the dots in identifying cybersecurity threats," the proposal reads.

Cyber security is one of the few areas where the US government seems eager to spend money rather than make cuts. Obama wants to increase DoD spending on cybersecurity by $800m to $4.7bn, at the same time as aiming for a $3.9bn cut in the Pentagon's overall budget.

The Department of Homeland Security is also getting a slice of the cyber cash, with an extra $44m to spend on helping government departments to share their information. However, its total budget drops by $615m. DHS will also have $810m to spend on cybersecurity research and on helping business and local government to strengthen their defences.

There will be more cyber dosh stashed in the black budgets - classified spending that's not reported - making it difficult to figure out exactly how many extra dollars the government reckons cybersecurity is worth, although it has upped the ante.

"The budget includes increases and improvements to a full range of cyberspace activities," the proposal notes under the "National Intelligence Program" section. ®

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