Former CIA/NSA Head: Cyber Security Threats "Horribly Over-Classified"
October 7, 2011 11:35 AM
comment(s) - last by
Former head of the National Security Agency and CIA and retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden
Ex-head of the National Security Agency and CIA and retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden said federal agencies need to open up to public and private industry to address cyber threats
climbs its way up the priority list after 2011's string of attacks against government and corporate systems, U.S. government agencies and companies struggle to find a happy medium between excessive secrecy and too much disclosure regarding the handling of such issues.
Going one way or the other can have severe repercussions. Excessive secrecy can stifle cyber defense, as too much focus could be placed on an issue that was already resolved elsewhere. If you keep it secret, someone who might know how to fix it cannot do so. Too much disclosure, on the other hand, gives hackers what they need to work around security systems.
So what's a company to do? According to former head of the National Security Agency and CIA and retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, information regarding cyber attacks are "over-classified" and releasing only necessary information without being too descriptive could be helpful in creating an educated, open forum of
how to deal with these problems
"This may come as a surprise, given my background at the NSA and CIA and so on, but I think that this information is horribly over-classified," said Hayden. "The roots to American cyber power are in the American intelligence community, and we frankly are quite accustomed to working in a world that's classified. I'm afraid that that culture has bled over into how we treat all cyber questions."
U.S. President Barack Obama released a memo in January 2009 telling federal agencies to
work more closely with public and private industry
on important matters, allowing for greater government transparency. According to Army Col. Rivers Johnson, U.S. Cyber Command has been compliant with the president's demands.
"It's important to note that both NSA and USCYBERCOM continue to be committed to open government and transparency in accordance with the President's 21 January 2009 Memo," said Johnson. "We also have a responsibility to ensure classified and sensitive information is protected in accordance with applicable laws and policies."
"What's happened is, the accumulation of those individual, discrete, maybe correct decisions has created a consequence in which the overall effect is greater than the harm that would have been created by reviewing the individual decisions," said Hayden. "Collectively, what you've got is an uninformed public, and what you've got is a private sector that doesn't understand the precise nature of the threat they're up against."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
10/7/2011 4:11:45 PM
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
It doesn't work as a security posture.
It is possible to keep the contents of a system secure and classified even without keeping the security measures and system architecture secret.
The problem with the "it's classified" line is that it is used to hide problems, not fix them.
A good lock is one that is hard to open without the key
even when you know exactly how the lock works.
Keeping the lock design secret doesn't make it a better or more secure lock.
What the government is basically saying is that because the contents of the vault are classified, people who don't have classified clearance aren't allowed to fix the vault. In addition people who DO have classified clearance aren't allowed to discuss problems with the vault with other vault experts who may not have clearance. It's dumb. But it
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
DHS Conducts Cyber Security Simulations to Aid Private Industries
October 3, 2011, 9:36 AM
Companies "Pwned" in Hacking Contest, Cyber Security Skills Lacking
August 8, 2011, 5:37 PM
Global Cyber Security Push is Underway
July 6, 2011, 7:28 AM
Facebook Adds Satire Tags to Its Auto-Generated "Related News" Posts
August 18, 2014, 10:43 AM
Comcast, TWC Pull Dinner Gift for FCC Commissioner... Sort Of
August 15, 2014, 1:10 PM
Comcast Accused of Wooing FCC Commissioner w/ $110K Dinner
August 13, 2014, 8:20 PM
Quick Note: Nokia’s Lumia 520 Available for $39.99 Off Contract Today Only
August 13, 2014, 10:37 AM
Wikipedia Scores $140,000 in Bitcoin Donations in One Week
August 11, 2014, 9:32 AM
China to Require Real Names for Chat Apps
August 8, 2014, 8:28 PM
Most Popular Articles
Lumia 830 Gets Major Upgrades Including New 20.1 Megapixel Toshiba Sensor
August 15, 2014, 6:00 PM
Windows Phone, BlackBerry Smartphone Market Share Falls to 2.5%, 0.5% Respectively
August 15, 2014, 9:44 AM
GM Concedes That the Cadillac ELR Doesn’t Really Compete with the Tesla Model S
August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
Cell Phone Thief Calls 911 After Her Victim Chases Her and Her Male Cohort
August 14, 2014, 12:11 PM
Smarter Wired, Wireless Chargers Set to Shake Up Mobile Industry
August 14, 2014, 6:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information