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U.S. Cyber Command Now Operational

Army Gen. Keith Alexander National Security Agency

The Pentagon has put a four star general in charge of cyber warfare, a move that underscores the growing unease among computer experts about the growing likelihood of an online attack against the United States.

In what was described as a low-key affair, Gen. Keith Alexander was officially sworn in to head the new Cyber Command on Friday afternoon. In a related move, the Army said that it planned to establish an Army Forces Cyber Command by the end of 2010.

How acute is the risk? Critics say that the hype continues to exaggerate the reality. But IT professionals do believe that it's only a mattter of time before an attack gets launched against critical piece of the cyber infrastructure in the United States. At the same time, several other countries have been building up their capacities in case of a full-fledged cyber war.

""Given our increasing dependency on cyberspace, this new command will bring together the resources of the department to address vulnerabilities and meet the ever-growing array of cyberthreats to our military systems," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a statement.

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