Pentagon cyber-threat sharing program lost participants

An aerial view of the Pentagon.

An aerial view of the Pentagon. Defense Department file photo

Moves highlights challenges to securing critical infrastructure.

A Pentagon effort designed to share information on computer threats with defense contractors has lost members, InsideDefense reports.

Five of the initial 17 members have pulled out of the Defense Industrial Base Enhanced Cybersecurity Services group, a component of the department's cybersecurity information assurance program, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed to the publication.

Under the initiative, the government fed threat signatures to Internet service providers that participating defense companies paid to scan their traffic and identify malware, Foreign Policy also reported. The program, aimed at offering participants additional security protection, ran in pilot mode for nearly two years.

"At the end of the operational pilot, one of the commercial service providers withdrew. During the operational testing of the pilot, five of the 17 DIB companies chose to withdraw and reallocate their
resources to other corporate priorities," the DOD spokesman told InsideDefense.

Four of the five companies that quit during the pilot are considering rejoining a modified version of the program, FP reports. In another arrangement, the companies would cut out the ISPs as middlemen, receiving threat signatures straight from the government.

DOD apparently is hosting a briefing in coming weeks to inform companies of the initiative, according to InsideDefense