By CNNMoney's Charles Riley
The Pentagon has accused China of trying to extract sensitive information from U.S. government computers, the latest in a series of rhetorical skirmishes between the two countries on the issue of cyberattacks.
The frank assessment, made in an annual report to U.S. lawmakers on Chinese military capabilities, is the harshest and most detailed set of accusations made thus far by the Obama administration.
"In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military," the report said.
The Pentagon said China is carrying out the attacks in an effort to extract information from "diplomatic, economic and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs." The intellectual property and data is likely being used to bolster China's own defense and high tech industries, the report saidFULL STORY
By Jethro Mullen, CNN
If North Korea continues with its controversial missile and nuclear tests, it "will move closer" to its objective of reaching the United States with nuclear weapons, according to a Pentagon report.
During recent heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang repeatedly threatened the possibility of nuclear attacks against the United States and South Korea, prompting questions on the progress of its weapons program.
North Korea's secretiveness has made it hard for Western intelligence agencies to gauge exactly what is going on inside its research facilities.
Many clues have come from the regime's large-scale tests such as the long-range rocket launch in December and the underground nuclear detonation in February.FULL STORY
By Pam Benson and Chris Lawrence
Despite the uproar over a disclosure this week of Pentagon intelligence concluding North Korea may be able to deliver a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile, it's not the first time the Defense Intelligence Agency has suggested Pyongyang had that capability.
Since 2005, two former DIA chiefs have raised the possibility during congressional testimony.
At a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing in April 2005, then-DIA director Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby acknowledged the possibility in response to a question about whether North Korea had the capability to put a nuclear device on a missile.
"The assessment is that they have the capability to do that," Jacoby said.
By Pam Benson
The House Intelligence Committee has overwhelmingly passed a new cybersecurity bill that would enhance data sharing between the government and private industry to protect computer networks and intellectual property from cyber attacks.
By a vote of 18-2, the panel on Wednesday approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
The measure sets up a voluntary system for companies to share threat information on their networks with the government in exchange for some liability protections.
The bill also allows the government to share intelligence and other cyber threat information with industry.
A similar bill died in the Senate last year after a number of Republicans argued that proposed cybersecurity standards allowed for too much government regulation.
The White House had threatened to veto that bill over privacy concerns.
By Barbara Starr
The Joint Chiefs of Staff plan to brief newly minted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the impact that spending cuts - slated to go into effect Friday night - might have on military readiness.
Defense programs would bear half of the $85 billion in government-wide spending cuts that are to go into effect absent congressional action.
Hagel's first session with leaders of the service branches since his swearing-in is to occur Friday afternoon in "the tank," a secure Pentagon meeting room.
The Joint Chiefs will brief Hagel on what the planned cuts involve and how they might affect readiness, a senior Pentagon official said.FULL STORY
By Mike Mount
Combat troops to four-star generals will soon be able to use cell phones or mobile tablets to quickly share classified information anywhere in the world.
The program soon to be rolled out by the Pentagon will allow the more than 600,000 Defense Department employees who use government-issued "smart" mobile devices to send top-secret information on those units or computers.
Until now, classified and other highly sensitive information has only been allowed to be shared by specially designated desktop systems.
Most Defense Department mobile device users peck away at Blackberries. Another 41,000 use Apple devices and a much smaller number use Android-based technology, according to statistics provided by the Pentagon.
By Barbara Starr and Larry Shaughnessy
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was packed up and ready, as he says, to "get the hell out of town." But it looks like he can't step aside just yet from the top job at the Pentagon.
The Senate on Thursday dashed Panetta's hopes of quickly confirming his intended replacement, Chuck Hagel, before the start of a one-week congressional recess.
Proponents failed to muster enough support in a procedural vote to end debate on Hagel's appointment and push the nomination toward a concluding vote.
Democrats are calling Republican opposition a filibuster, while GOP members say they simply want more time to address concerns.
By: CNN's Ashley Killough
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Sunday his "biggest concern" right now is the uncertainty over budget issues on Capitol Hill.
"If the sequester is allowed to go into effect, I think it could seriously impact on the readiness in the United States," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "And that's a serious issue."
The U.S. military could face the start of $500 billion in budget cuts in about a month if Congress fails to come up with a budget plan that avoids the so-called sequester, a serious of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts spread out over the next decade.
By Barbara Starr
The Pentagon has begun laying off 46,000 contract and temporary civilian employees in an effort to cut back on military spending, the No. 2 Pentagon official said on Friday.
Full time civilian employees, which number in the hundreds of thousands, also will be furloughed for one day a week for 22 weeks, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an interview with wire service reporters.
His comments were confirmed by a Pentagon spokesman.
By Pam Benson
Satellite imagery of a North Korean nuclear test site identifies what could be key installations that would likely play a prominent role if Kim Jong Un orders a test, which the government threatened to do on Thursday.
The analysis of the Pung-gye-Ri Nuclear Test site by U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s 38 North blog shows recently completed structures essential to an underground nuclear weapons test.
One is believed to be a command and control bunker. Another photo shows what appears to be a radio relay system that zigzags through a valley, which the 38North analysts believe could be used as part of a communications system linking the bunker to the North Korean leadership in Pyongyang.
"Located about 150 meters (164 yards) north of the test tunnel entrance, the bunker, used only when a test is about to be conducted, would contain equipment for controlling the nuclear device, managing instruments for gathering test data and communicating with authorities in Pyongyang," the report stated. "The bunker would also provide shelter for all personnel in the area."