Information Sharing , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development , Training & Security Leadership

Pentagon Shuts Down Joint Chiefs' Email Network

Defense Department 'Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks'
Pentagon Shuts Down Joint Chiefs' Email Network

The Pentagon has taken down its unclassified network that handles email for the Joint Chiefs of Staff because of "suspicious activity," according to news media reports. But it's offering few details about its network concerns.

See Also: Free Cybersecurity Awareness Kit

Pentagon spokesperson, Army Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, said in a statement issued July 29 that the Joint Chiefs of Staff unclassified network was down for all users.

"We continue to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks across our networks," Henderson says. "With those goals in mind, we have taken the Joint Staff network down and continue to investigate. Our top priority is to restore services as quickly as possible. As a matter of policy and for operational security reasons, we do not comment on the details of cyber incidents or attacks against our networks."

Malcolm Harkins, global chief information security officer at anti-virus and endpoint protection provider Cylance, who has no direct knowledge of the incident, says a system breach might have caused the Pentagon to shutter the networks.

Malcolm Harkins explains why hackers breach email networks.

"Taking ownership of an email server ... would be a great pivot point if you were an attacker," Harkins tells Information Security Media Group.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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