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Previous studies have shown the U.S.'s cyberdefenses to be too porous and weak to keep out foreign cyberspies. A new report on the state of the nation's cybersecurity is set to air Friday.  (Source: LiquidMatrix)
A two month report will reveal exactly how successful the U.S.'s cyberdefense efforts have been

From zealous foreign nationalists to organized crime to enterprising teen malcontents, the U.S. faces a broad array of cyberthreats online.  A war games exercise last year showed the country's cyberdefenses, particularly those guarding critical assets like the power grid and government networks, to be weak and disorganized.  This fact has been accentuated by both recent intrusions, such as the infiltration of the Lightning II jet fighter program by foreign cyberspies, and by careless mistakes, such as the NARA's loss of a hard drive containing White House vistors' social security numbers.

In February, President Barack Obama commissioned a 60-day review of federal cybersecurity efforts, and the results of that review are set to air Friday.  It is thought that the report will form the basis of ongoing security efforts, as well influencing important upcoming national cybersecurity decisions. 

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs describes the efforts, stating, "The administration recognizes the very serious threats public- and private-sector networks face from cyber-crime and cyber-attack.  The administration has also committed to establishing the proper structure within the government to ensure cybersecurity issues continue to receive top-level attention and enhanced coordination."

One crisis has been the question of which organization to hand the task of cybersecurity.  Top candidates are the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying and code breaking, or the Department of Homeland Security, tasked with antiterrorism efforts.  Top tech and cybersecurity experts have been at each other’s throats over the issue, and have been unable to reach a consensus.

Another prickly topic is whether to locate the head of the new task force in the White House, to facilitate communication with the President on important issues.

However, these issues must be laid to rest in order to stop the latest rash of intrusions.  In the last year, millions have been stolen from banks and the electric grid was reportedly infiltrated, in addition to the aforementioned incidents.  Cyberspies left behind programs on electric grid computers that could remotely disrupt power services, a mess which is only now being cleaned up.  According to a Center for Strategic and International Studies December report, the U.S. Defense Department has its computers probed hundreds of thousands of times per day in preparation for intrusions.

The Obama administration security review was led by a top Bush administration cybersecurity expert, Melissa Hathaway, who served as the cyber-coordination executive under Mike McConnell, Bush's director of national intelligence.

The Obama administration's proposed 2010 fiscal budget calls for a $355M USD in cybersecurity.  Among the firms that could receive some of this money are security software providers, defense contractors, and information technology companies.  Under the proposed budget, the Department of Homeland Security would lead these efforts and disburse the funds.

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By rdeegvainl on 5/27/2009 10:01:55 AM , Rating: 3
This should be quite interesting. Should bring up alot of things that are wrong with the lack of focus on IA. To many people put in charge of things with only the goal of getting comm up, and not securing comm once its up.

RE: Subject
By inperfectdarkness on 5/27/2009 7:18:48 PM , Rating: 3
my thoughts:

the USAF is setting up CYBER-COMMAND. if you want a head agency on this--this is the PERFECT CANDIDATE. the 4-star who will head cyber-command is the perfect person to answer for cyber-security; not just for the USAF...but for all of the DOD & government as well.

think about it...national defense doesn't fall to the individual states, individual agencies, or the people themselves. national defense is THE MILITARY'S job. that should include CYBER DEFENSE.

no "cabinet position" needed. no need to pay a guy 2-3 times what a 4-star makes just so you can "pretend" like the problem is being handled.

leave this to the USAF, give them what they need to do their job, and get the hell out of the way.

RE: Subject
By croc on 5/27/2009 10:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
I see a bit of a problem with this approach... I can just imagine a general waltzing into the HQ of, say, El Paso Natural Gas, and start issuing orders.

Your NSA doesn't seem to want the job, that leaves your much-vaunted DHS to have to pick up the ball. We all know how well they did in New Orleans, yes???

If I were a yank, I'd be scared. Very scared.

what time?
By bertomatic on 5/27/2009 1:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
what station?

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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