President Obama orders cyber security review

President Barack Obama has ordered an immediate 60-day review of federal cyber security efforts and named Melissa Hathaway, a top US intelligence official, to oversee the effort, according to a White House statement reported in Reuters.

Hathaway, who served as a senior cyber security adviser to Mitch McConnell, the former director of national intelligence, will conduct the review for the White House National Security and Homeland Security Councils.

The review will examine what the federal government already is doing to protect US computer networks and highlights mounting concerns about the risks of cyber attacks, which is spawning a lucrative market for US contractors.

Northrop Grumman Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, the Pentagon's biggest contractors, already are working on a variety of cyber security projects for the US government, many of which are classified, Reuters says. In fact, industry executives say the sector will be one of their fastest-growing markets in coming years, and analysts say it could generate over $10 billion (£6.7 billion) in contracts by 2013.

Obama stressed the importance of safeguarding the nation's vital computer networks against enemy attacks during his campaign.