Pentagon Shuts Down Joint Chiefs' Email NetworkDefense Department 'Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks'
The Pentagon has taken down its unclassified network that handles email for the Joint Chiefs of Staff because of "suspicious activity," according to news media reports. But it's offering few details about its network concerns.
Pentagon spokesperson, Army Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, said in a statement issued July 29 that the Joint Chiefs of Staff unclassified network was down for all users.
"We continue to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks across our networks," Henderson says. "With those goals in mind, we have taken the Joint Staff network down and continue to investigate. Our top priority is to restore services as quickly as possible. As a matter of policy and for operational security reasons, we do not comment on the details of cyber incidents or attacks against our networks."
Malcolm Harkins, global chief information security officer at anti-virus and endpoint protection provider Cylance, who has no direct knowledge of the incident, says a system breach might have caused the Pentagon to shutter the networks.
"Taking ownership of an email server ... would be a great pivot point if you were an attacker," Harkins tells Information Security Media Group.