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Last week Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered U.S. Strategic Command (StratCom) to deliver a plan to stand-up a new command to oversee information technology security and attack – what would be known as "Cyber Command." This is in addition to President Obama's announcement last month that he will establish a new cyber security office at the White House. The historic event took place on Tuesday, June 22nd.
As one could imagine, this is no small task. StratCom has just a little over sixty days to accomplish this mission. The plan to create this new entity operating within the Department of Defense and lead by a 4-star general is due to the Defense Secretary by September 1st. According to Gates' timeline, Cyber Command is expected to be up and operational by October 1, 2009, and fully functional one year later.
The United States is not the only country making this move. The UK defense ministry announced plans to establish an office of cyber attack and defense but gave no hard date when it would be operational. Britain's GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters, their equivalent of the NSA) seems to be well underway in fully developing their cyber capabilities. In addition, the defense ministry of South Korea has also announced plans to establish a cyber command by 2012.