Lawmakers crafting a massive annual Pentagon policy want the Defense Department to be able to provide off-the-clock cybersecurity protection to DOD personnel deemed “to be of highest risk of vulnerability to cyberattacks on their personal devices, networks and persons,”
That provision is included in the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which is headed for a vote in the Senate this week. Along with personal “cyber protection support,” the Senate bill would overhaul the role of the Pentagon chief information officer.
The House approved its version of the bill, which differs in some key respects from the Senate version, last week — although it was quickly met with a veto threat by the White House.
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Under the Senate bill, the Defense secretary would be authorized to identify high-risk positions and provide “training, advisements and assistance regarding cyberattacks,” according to the bill.
Last year, self-described “stoner high school student” hackers claimed to have breached personal email accounts of CIA Director John Brennan and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Neither man is a DOD employee, but the incidents raised concerns about the cybersecurity vulnerabilities posed by top government officials’ private email accounts.
The proposed move also comes amid increasing concerns about targeted malicious emails — phishing and “social engineering” attacks — aimed at tricking personnel into divulging login credentials or clicking on malicious links in otherwise legitimate-seeming emails.
Last summer, hackers reportedly broke into…