The Pentagon has released details of its latest cyber security initiative.
Under the auspices of the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Pilot, the DoD and DHS will share classified threat information and know-how to protect civilian defense companies from attack or exploitation.
"Our defense industrial base is critical to our military effectiveness. Their networks hold valuable information about our weapons systems and their capabilities," explained Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III.
"The theft of design data and engineering information from within these networks greatly undermines the technological edge we hold over potential adversaries."
According to Lynn, while current countermeasures have slowed the "exploitation" of U.S. defense industry networks, they haven't stopped it completely.
"By furnishing network administrators with this threat intelligence we will be able to strengthen the existing cyber defenses at defense companies.
"Although this pilot breaks new ground on several fronts, we have a long way to go, and a lot of work to do, before our critical infrastructure will be fully secure."
The Deputy Defense Secretary also noted that, if successful, the DIB Cyber Pilot could serve as a model for other critical infrastructure sectors - under the leadership of the DHS.
"Few weapons in the history of warfare, once created, have gone unused. For this reason, we must have the capability to defend against the full range of cyber threats. [Yes], Al-Qaida, which has vowed to unleash cyber attacks, has not yet done so.
"But it is possible for a terrorist group to develop cyber attack tools on their own or to buy them on the black market. The nature of cyber is that a couple dozen talented programmers, using off-the-shelf equipment, can inflict a lot of damage. We have to assume that in cyber, as in other areas, if terrorists have the means to strike, they will do so," he added.