Pentagon suffers Internet access outage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An unspecified number of Defense Department personnel in the Washington D.C. area and in the Midwest were cut off from the public Internet for nearly three hours on Thursday because of technical problems, a department spokeswoman said Friday.

The outage was not caused by any malicious activity, said the spokeswoman, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham. She said the networks are back up and operating at normal capacity.

Defense Department users were cut off “due to technical issues at three of the (Department of Defense) gateways interfacing to commercial Internet access points,” Cunningham said in an email.

The department’s Defense Information Security Agency worked with commercial vendors and “mission partners” to reroute critical DoD traffic and to mitigate the issue until technical issues were resolved, she said.

The number of people affected by the outage was not known, “but is estimated in the thousands, given the number of people who work in the Pentagon,” Cunningham told Reuters.

Reporting By Jim Wolf; editing by Gunna Dickson