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US Military’s Computers Are Vulnerable To Hackers, Audit Finds
The Defense Department’s first-ever audit has revealed that the U.S. military is worth $2.7 trillion and the security for its information technology still sucks.
Overall, the army of auditors that scoured the military’s books discovered between 1,500 and 2,000 “notice of findings,” or things that need be fixed, said David Norquist, the Defense Department’s comptroller.
“Our single largest number of findings is IT security around our business systems,” Norquist told reporters on Wednesday. “The types of issues there are segregation of duties, terminating user access when they depart, and monitoring the use of people who have special authorities, making sure there is careful of monitoring of that.”
In 2018, the Defense Department has spent $153 million to improve its financial systems, and that includes fixing vulnerabilities in IT security, he said. By taking care of those problems, the Pentagon will end up saving money.
“If people are able to get into your inventory or property systems and make code changes that you can’t see, the risk to you is exponential,” Norquist said. “The ability to turn those off and shut those down is a cost avoidance.”
So far, the Defense Department has spent $406 million in fixing all of the problems identified by the audit, which cost a total of $413 million in fiscal 2018, according to the Pentagon.
Auditors will keep checking each year with commanders on the issues that need be improved until all of the findings have been remedied, Norquist said.
“I think what you’ll see from the secretary is a clear message to the work force: Now that you’re aware of it, your job is to fix it,” Norquist said. “And that’s what we have in people’s performance evaluations across our senior leadership: Their responsibility to close these findings.”
SEE ALSO: The Pentagon Failed Its First-Ever Audit
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.