Monthly Archives: May 2009

A busy day in CyberSec Space

Declan McCullagh at CNET lays out a history of fed cyber sec since creation of DHS as Obama prepares to report out on the 60 day Cyber Sec review.  McCullagh  notes we have been here before:

If any of this sounds familiar, it should. About a year after President George W. Bush took office, his administration announced a highly-anticipated, 76-page document called the “National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace” (PDF). Few of its bullet points calling for immediate “response” have been enacted; even fewer people remember what they were.

NYTimes report on DOD preparations to defend cyber space.  The Post says not to expect a naming of who will fill the position (Special Assistant to the Pres) expected to report through the NSC chain.

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Loose flops since ships

This article from the Winnipeg Free Press discusses how everyone may play an unwitting role in cyber spy attempts to do damage.

Consumers are also vulnerable, said Parry Aftab, chairwoman of anti-virus software maker McAfee’s consumer advisory board.

Software on their computers may allow others to steal information, she said.

“Many of us who may casually download pictures or songs or videos or screen savers . . . may be downloading malicious coding that’s designed to sit dormant on our computers until whoever it is arming them activates them,” Aftab said.

The US goverment spent much educating citizens in WWII to be aware of spying activities and to mind the information within their possession — perhaps a cyber oriented campaign is needed here.

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So do you want to be part of an org chart, or a an ant hill?

Robert Scoble compares Google to ant hill.

I thought about using a metaphor of a battle ship, like what worked with Gates, but, see, Google is more like an ant farm.

Google is more like an ant hill. One powered by 20% time which is how the ants find out where the food is. Heck, enough of Google’s ants have left to join Facebook, Twitter, and friendfeed, that it should be clear by now there’s some new tasty food bits that they aren’t yet munching on. Heck, friendfeed should be a major embarrassment to Google since that 14-person team has at least five Google superstars on it (the guy who came up with the idea for Google not to be evil started the company. That’s Paul Buchheit and he also ran the Gmail team. Also on the friendfeed team is the guy who ran the Google Talk team, the guy who ran Google Maps team, the designer for a whole bunch of Googley products, and the guy who ran the backend team on Gmail). Over at Facebook and Twitter I keep running into people who used to work at Google too.

And now Google’s own founders are admitting that they need to get into real time.

The ants are moving!

Interesting metaphor.  Causes one to ponder what it takes to manage an ant hill… Or, do is the proper term “steer”?  Is “managing” an antiquated concept in a knowledge economy?

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What did we learn in security school today? Sharing!

Imagine, sharing information to overcome a threat.  Post story notes increased cooperation between  military, private sectors.

“We shared with them the fact that we’ve got a very, very aggressive cyber threat,” said Robert Lentz, a Pentagon official who heads the partnership. The Pentagon soon will seek to amend defense acquisition rules to require cybersecurity standards for firms seeking contracts. “The sooner we all understand what’s required to protect the information in our networks, and we teach this in universities and in businesses, the better off we all will be, down to the Internet user at home,” Robert Lentz said. (a Pentagon official who heads the partnership)

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Cyber Sec – Collaborative approach with some tought love

At least, that is the summary of this article from the BBC:

  • “We have seen some good initiatives from industry on improving the trustworthiness of software. What I am hoping to see from government with this new post is more involvement in standards and education efforts in security.” Benjamin Jun, Cryptology Research
  • “We need to have a new security paradigm in the future,We need to have a clear idea of what our society should be at the end of the decade so this problem is addressed adequately. We must use this crisis to make the right changes.”  Mark Cohn, VP Enterprise Security, Unisys
  • “The first order of business has to be to draw attention to the subject and then start working with all the agencies and organisations throughout industry and government. You have to be able to kick all these different groups in the seat of the pants to get them moving in the same direction.” Ken Silva, CTO – Verisign
  • “A key component will be co-operation and collaboration. There has been an ad hoc approach to this in law enforcement with perpetrators of a digital breach in one country while the act has happened in another.” Liesyl Franz  — Tech America

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Filed under cybersec organizations, cybersecurity

Posner — Why the market needs supervision

Here’s a book that will relegate Judge Posner to be adjudged as  a sure fire liberal:

In “Catastrophe: Risk and Response” (2004), he took up the problem of low-probability, high-impact events. The financial meltdown certainly qualifies. In this compact and bracingly lucid volume, he offers a simple, but not simplistic, primer: “a concise, constructive, jargon- and ­acronym-free, nontechnical, unsen­sational, light-on-anecdote, analytical examination of the major facets of the biggest U.S. economic disaster in my lifetime and that of most people living today.”

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Under Sec for Science and Tech named at DHS

New DHS announcement

Makes one wonder where cyber sec is going …

“I am proud to announce President Obama’s intent to nominate Dr. Tara O’Toole as Under Secretary for the Science and Technology Directorate. Dr. O’Toole is an expert on environmental protection and biosecurity, and brings critical experience in health, safety and technology to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

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Stories from The Dark Side

interesting read

Q&A: FBI agent looks back on time posing as a cybercriminal

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