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By Patrick Thibodeau
February 15, 2011
WASHINGTON -- The White House is proposing a big increase in
cybersecurity research and development in next year's budget to improve,
in part, its ability to reduce the risk of insider threats and ensure
the safety of control systems such as those used at power plants.
In detailing their 2012 budget proposal on Monday, White House officials
didn't mention WikiLeaks and its release of tens of thousands of
diplomatic cables and military documents, or the ability of the Stuxnet
worm to damage Iran's nuclear control systems. But the fingerprints of
both those incidents on this budget proposal seemed clear enough.
Philip Coyle, associate director for national security, said at the
budget briefing on Monday that the administration is proposing
"considerable growth" in cybersecurity research. When all the
cybersecurity spending plans across the board are added together,
cybersecurity research and development spending will increase 35% to
$548 million next year, he said.
Stuxnet illustrated how a cyberattack could corrupt a specifically
targeted critical control system -- in this case, Iran's nuclear
centrifuges. But attacks on critical facilities in the U.S. have been a
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