President Barack Obama has said that the US has had inadequate protection over its computer networks for too long, adding that he will name a new cyber czar to oversee the nations computer defense system.
We're not as prepared as we should be, as a government or as a country, he said, calling cyber threats one of the most serious economic and military dangers the nation faces.
The president for the first time revealed that his campaign was victimized by hackers last year (though he confirmed contributors and donors that their personal information was never stolen). I know how it feels to have privacy violated because it has happened to me, he said.
He called cyber-security one of the most serious economic and security challenges we face as a nation, and added: We're not as prepared as we should be.
Now our virtual world is going viral, said Obama. We have only begun to explore the next generation of technologies that will transform our lives in ways we can't even begin imagine. So a new world awaits, a world of greater security and greater potential prosperity if we reach for it, if we leap.
The czar, who will be a member of both the National Security Council and National Economic Council, will coordinate an effort to safeguard computer networks that run stock markets, air traffic control, power grids, and other key systems. The New York Times reported today that the military plans its own new command for cyberspace.
The White House is set to create a military cyber unit that will not only defend Pentagon nets, but also take steps to develop an offensive capability.