Print 16 comment(s) - last by Megatomic.. on Jul 27 at 11:52 AM

Randy Vickers, director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, has resigned  (Source:
Randy Vickers, director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, resigned from his position suddenly last Friday

The United States government was the target of many cyber attacks this year, including those launched on the Pentagon, the CIA and even U.S. soldiers. These attacks resulted in the loss of 24,000 confidential military files, 90,000 logins of private and public sector employees (including those in the U.S. military) and the take-down of government websites.

Governments and corporations around the world have been targets in 2011's cyber attack spree, raising many questions concerning internet security. While this blaring spotlight has put stress on many people on the receiving end of these attacks, many are shocked by the sudden resignation of a U.S. agency head in charge of responding to cyber attacks.

Randy Vickers, director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, resigned from his position suddenly last Friday. A reason for his resignation has not yet been released.

A Homeland Security official noted that the department will not comment on "personnel matters." However, Roberta Stempfley, acting assistant secretary for cyber security and communications at Homeland Security, sent an email to select employees letting them know about the resignation, but with no details as to why.

The email stated that Lee Rock, former deputy director, will now serve as acting director until a new head of the agency is chosen. In the email, she added, "We are confident that our organization will continue its strong performance under his leadership."

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By Jeryko7 on 7/26/2011 12:02:42 PM , Rating: 4
What I will NEVER understand is why this sensitive military data is visible to the public internet in the first place?? Why does the pentagon and other military servers not have their own nationwide network separate from the public internet? Are the trillions of dollars they are confiscating from us in taxes not enough to fill this obvious need? I'm not talking firewalls, I'm talking it should not physically be connected to public networks. Period. Then the china commie /b/tards can bang away in their rooms filled with computers all day long with no results because you cant get the data unless your on the inside!!

RE: Why??
By wrekd on 7/26/2011 12:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever had to sneakernet Microsoft updates? And depending on the number of hosts you have, you might just have to sneakernet a whole WSUS VMDK. Not fun. A private network still needs to be patched, still needs antivirus, and is still vulnerable to insider threats like privilege elevation.

RE: Why??
By Megatomic on 7/27/2011 11:52:14 AM , Rating: 4
I have, though not on a system of computers as large as the US Gov't. I previously worked as a control systems tech in many power plants, and the DCS and PLC networks never touched the internet. Ever. The PCs all had to be manually updated. If it took a long time so be it, it was my job to do.

The need for security should trump the need to update PCs quickly...

RE: Why??
By bigdawg1988 on 7/26/2011 12:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think they do have their own network where the real secret stuff is (war plans, weapon schematics, etc), but sometimes people put things on OUR internet that shouldn't be. And of course you have people that leak documents, many times on purpose. Guess they don't trust the whistle-blower system or they have an axe to grind.

And no matter what you do, if there are people involved there is always the chance someone will give away secrets "just because...."

RE: Why??
By bah12 on 7/26/2011 12:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
I tend to agree, and I believe that the really uber classified stuff never has a public facing interface, but having a public net for general stuff is acceptable. I haven't read all the links, but I don't think there has been anything too important exposed yet. Usually if a truly classified doc does get compromised it was placed on a public facing computer erroneously by a user (as we all know the biggest flaw in security is between the keyboard and chair).

RE: Why??
By zibby on 7/26/2011 2:21:15 PM , Rating: 1
They do. Its call SYPERNET

RE: Why??
By zibby on 7/26/2011 2:24:11 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Why??
By Spookster on 7/26/2011 5:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
SIPRNET (Secure Internet Protocol Router Network) used for secret level classified information.

and then their is the regular non secure Internet which is named (Non-secure) NIPRNET that is what you and everybody else uses and just calls the Internet.

And of course there are others for higher level of classified information like JWICS.

We KNOW why.
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2011 10:29:17 AM , Rating: 4
When a department head abruptly "resigns", it means he was forced to step down.

RE: We KNOW why.
By CZroe on 7/26/2011 12:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
My, aren't you insightful?!

RE: We KNOW why.
By Uncle on 7/26/2011 1:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
"Mr. Vickers partners with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including the FBI, DIA, NSA, and CIA, on intelligence gathering, technical analysis, computer crime investigations, and prosecution of individuals or organizations involved in compromising U.S. Government assets."
He fu*ked up is why. Something major was taken or compromised, or had been, because it takes time to find what was stolen.He is also in charge of "prosecution of individuals or organizations" other then running around chasing kids, where are the real enemy's he should be going after, and we all know what countries their from. Something serious left the country.

Where do I send my resume?
By Lord 666 on 7/26/2011 1:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not joking either

RE: Where do I send my resume?
By ryedizzel on 7/26/2011 1:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
if you have to ask you already aren't qualified.

RE: Where do I send my resume?
By tng on 7/27/2011 9:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote: already aren't qualified.
Really, I think that it is the other way around, if you are qualified, they don't want you.

Nothing worse for a bunch of bureaucrats than having a boss that knows what everybody should be doing and then makes them do it. Sounds like there are allot of people at DHS that are there purely to collect a salary and wait for retirement.

By atlmann10 on 7/26/2011 10:32:16 AM , Rating: 2
I look at those records for a year and read the statement (especially the part commenting on continuing to perform be that performance at any level), and almost laugh. How can anyone with a job of thwarting attacks of any kind allude to continued performance levels.

RE: Wow
By WoWCow on 7/26/2011 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
No news is good news in security --- unless your security details has been breached/bypassed and you want to cover your own asses by shedding responsibilities.

In my pessimistic view, I always tend to think the latter in government.

I honestly think there are just too many bureaucrats at the head of the departments - folks who are use to dealing in controlled situations as problems becomes files on their desks rather than pro-actively preventing problems at its roots.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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