U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has ordered the creation of a Cyber Command to help secure the U.S. military's computer networks, according to reports.
In a memo, Gates said he will recommend President Barack Obama put the director of the National Security Agency in charge of the command. The command will be established as part of the U.S. Strategic Command, which is tasked with heading operations in nuclear and computer warfare. Gates directed the command begin operations by October and be fully operational by October 2010.
The order comes roughly a month after Obama declared cyber-security a "national security priority" and released details of a 60-day review of U.S.cyber-security. In the same speech, the president pledged to name a cyber-security coordinator to lead the government's overall efforts to secure its networks. Over the past few years, news of numerous high-profile hacks has leaked out, including reports of attacks on the U.S. electric grid.
The Cyber Command will reportedly be focused only on Department of Defense computer networks and will unify current efforts at the Pentagon to protect the military's computers and cyberspace operations.
"Our defense networks are constantly probed," a Pentagon spokesperson told Reuters. "There are millions of scans every day...We also know that foreign governments are trying to develop offensive cyber-capabilities."