The Pentagon is reprogramming $100 million allocated for cyber research and development to use on hunting for vulnerabilities in large weapons systems instead, according to budget documents.
In a memo posted on the Department of Defense Comptroller website, Michael McCord states that the cash will be used for “the assessment of major weapons systems cyber vulnerabilities.” The money will be drawn from the fiscal year 2016 base budget allocation for “Defense Technical Analysis.”
“This is a congressional special interest item,” the memo notes — meaning lawmakers put restrictions on the way it can be spent. But because the transfer is within the same appropriation — “Research, development, testing and evaluation” — no congressional permission was necessary.
“This was an internal reprogramming,” a defense official told Cyberscoop.
Indeed, the shift is in line with congressional priorities. The fiscal 2016 Omnibus spending bill added $100 million to the president’s budget request specifically for the same purpose.
“Our weapons systems must be secure against cyber warfare and cyber espionage, and the additional funding will jump-start a new line of defense against 21st century threats,” explained a release from Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., about the additional funds.
The move was first reported by Inside Defense.