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Cyber Command budget increases dramatically to fight cyber attacks

The house voted on Tuesday a spending package of $1.1 trillion dollar for 2014 that includes $447 million for the Pentagon component that launches cyber weapons and deflects hacks against civilian and military networks, reports the Washington Post today.

This House approval is expected to be passed by the Senate also. The new budget is a two fold increase over the 2013 budget of $191 million dollars.

The funding jump is mostly attributed to the growth of cyber mission forces, Pentagon officials told Nextgov on Tuesday. In March 2013, about 834 active duty military and civilian personnel were on staff, Cyber Command Chief Gen. Keith Alexander told lawmakers at the time. The goal is to grow cyber forces by 2,000 personnel annually, until 2016.

The change in funding shows the shift from anti-terrorism tracking to cyber safety and defense. Cyber space is not demarcated by geographic lines. For example, Cyber Command is bulking up "national mission forces" that will thwart incoming digital threats to American power, healthcare and other critical infrastructure sectors, while Homeland security is responsible for ‘leading a coordinated national response to significant cyber incidents,’ a DHS spokesman said last year.

Homeland security is waiting for Congressional approval on a spending bill of $792 million which is an increase of $35 million over 2013 budget.

Cyber Command - or CYBERCOM, for short - does a huge amount of the Pentagon's work in cyberspace. It reportedly played a role in launching the Stuxnet attack against Iran that disabled the country's nuclear centrifuges for a time, and exists under the same command that oversees America's nuclear arsenal.

CYBERCOM's budget has historically been obscured from the public. But appropriators this year asked that the figure be broken out explicitly in the bill for the first time. We now know that the omnibus spending package sets aside $447 million for Cyber Command this year while there are cuts elsewhere and trim to the Affordable Care Act.

The spending bill must still be approved by the Senate and signed by the president. But CYBERCOM's exploding budget makes a lot of sense for a defense industry that now sees cybersecurity, not terrorism, as the biggest (and growing) threat to the country.

Please, view the video atop this article about building a Cyber army and the articles listed below in Author's suggestions for more information on Cyber Command.

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