President Bush signed into law a measure that will almost quadruple federal spending by 2007 on computer security research, reflecting the heightened interest Washington has taken in the issue over the past year.
The law aims to create a cadre of cybersecurity experts able to guard against attacks like the one that disabled nine of the 13 computers that underpin the Internet's domain-name system last month.
It will increase federal spending from its current annual level of about $60 million to $111 million next year, ramping up to $231 million in 2007.
The law earmarks $903 million over five years for grants, scholarships and other incentives for long-term cybersecurity research.
The issue has been pushed to the fore as a series of destabilizing worms and viruses have spread across the Internet, disrupting traffic and causing millions of dollars in damage.
Congressional reports, meanwhile, have revealed gaping security holes in government systems that oversee both national defense and millions of dollars in funds.