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The Department of Homeland Security continues to have major security issues

A group of hackers successfully penetrated Department of Homeland Security computer systems over a series of hundreds of attacks, according to a congressional panel.  Congress admitted the branch suffered at least 844 hacker break-ins, virus and trojan outbreaks and other security issues over a period of two years -- many of which resulted in rootkits, backdoors and key loggers.

"It was a shock and a disappointment to learn that the Department of Homeland Security -- the agency charged with being the lead in our national cybersecurity -- has suffered so many significant security problems on its networks," said Representative James Langevin during the hearing.

Homeland Security CIO Scott Charbo sat on the hot seat while trying to defend his job during last week's panel.  Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., claimed the reoccurring computer issues are a serious problem which must be fixed as soon as possible.     

Charbo told Congress the department planned to spend as much as $332 million on computer security throughout 2007.

Computers used by the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also were identified as infected.  In perhaps the most egregious offense, the TSA lost a hard drive containing sensitive information of its employee database.

Scarbo promises the department is working to limit future computer security problems.  Scarbo's largest plan, dubbed OneNet, consolidates all of the wide-area and virtual-private networks currently in use.  The consolidation will eliminate the spaghetti infrastructure currently used for some of America's most sensitive civil data.

Other major amalgamations will follow OneNet, including database and email centralizations. Scarbo claims that in 2007 alone, the department corrected 7,000 security weaknesses in its infrastructure.

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RE: What exactly does Homeland security do?
By Moishe on 6/22/2007 11:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
wow, you're a real genius...
Do you even remember why the DHS was created? It was created because the government offices were not using the same systems and were acting like rivals. The general idea is that they are all on the same team and there should be very few walls between departments that would prevent critical information from flowing. And by the way, if you honestly think that Bush is to blame for your representative's vote then you're fairly out of touch. It's nice to pull out one person to blame out of thousands, but it's a bit absurd.

The concept and idea of the DHS is sound, the implementation is flawed certainly. It takes time to turn a large boat. By the way, this is the perfect example of why liberatarians generally believe that bigger government is worse. Bigger government is more wasteful, less agile, less secure, and more prone to abuse the citizens.

ON TOPIC: It looks to me like this Charbo guy has the right idea. The idea that there are 844 holes in at least 844 networks is not really that surprising to me. What is stupid is that there are actually more than 1-2 main government networks. Security is easier if you have a clearly defined set of walls and rules are enforced. It must be a nightmare for Charbo to take blame for the failure of some lazy office sysadmin in some little office somewhere.

RE: What exactly does Homeland security do?
By AntiM on 6/22/2007 12:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
"Do you even remember why the DHS was created? It was created because the government offices were not using the same systems and were acting like rivals."

You think we need an entire Cabinet-level Department to fix this? NO. Just proper leadership.

If you think Bush isn't squarely to blame for the creation of this Cabinet and it's subsequent ineffectiveness, then you're the one out of touch.

By Treckin on 6/23/2007 2:31:20 AM , Rating: 2
it was actually created at the cabinet level so that the president has direct authority over its leadership. The president could not simply remove civil servants the way he could a cabinet member... there are very specific rules regarding the removal of civil servants.... these were expanded upon in the Hatch act, created partly in the defense of servants from political pressure...

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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