US government forming cybersecurity agency to combat online threats

The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center will share threat data among federal agencies

The Obama Administration will create a new agency to monitor cybersecurity threats and share data about possible attacks among government departments.

The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center will pool information from a variety of sources and ensure that the data flows among government agencies, including those that handle communications about security with the private sector, said a report from Reuters.

No government agency handles this function, which is critical to protecting the U.S. from hacks, an Administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

The agency will be formed along the lines of the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to better coordinate sharing of intelligence in the federal government.

Administration officials including Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, will reveal details about the new agency on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the news.

Cybersecurity has become an important issue for the U.S. government after recent hacks targeted Sony Pictures, health insurer Anthem, Home Depot and Target.

Obama administration officials didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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