US military weapon systems are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than ever as they rely more on software and networks, according to a new General Accounting Office (GAO) report.
While the US Department of Defense has been moving toward ensuring the security of those systems, the GAO said the DoD is only beginning to make inroads on closing security holes and policies. The GAO's report is based on its analysis of cybersecurity test reports on weapon systems conducted on behalf of DoD, and interviews with defense organizations and program officials in nine major US DoD acquisition program offices.
In one test case cited by the GAO, a team of two testers were able to gain full control of a weapon system within one hour, and many tests used basic tools to "hack" the systems. Poor password management and unencrypted communications were some of the underlying vulnerabilities that allowed testers to control weapon systems undetected. "GAO plans to continue evaluating key aspects of DOD's weapon systems cybersecurity efforts," the agency said in its unclassified report.
Read the full GAO report here.