A top Pentagon official has confirmed that US defence computer networks were attacked by more than 100 foreign intelligence agencies looking to steal weapons design and military plans.
Speaking during the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, said that most of the attacks were designed to spy on US military plans and diplomatic secrets instead of launching full fledged attacks fearing a US counter-attack.
According to The Associated Press, Lynn said that a greater threat was posed by terror groups such as al-Qaida, which are determined to launch a devastating and destructive cyber attack.
His comments come at a time when the US is ramping up the security on its cyber networks against foreign intrusions and formulating strategies to launch a counter-attack in case of a serious cyber attack.
Lynn also chose the conference to unveil two new plans aimed at allowing government agencies and private industry to exchange cyber security expertise in order to ramp-up the security on computer networks.
Another challenge is how to set up a legal structure which would allow classified information about threats to be shared, and at the same time assuaging legitimate privacy concerns relating to access to private networks.