Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cybersecurity is the new FEMA trailer.

Interesting story by Dennis Fisher about a hearing by the House Committee on Homeland Security on the Bush Administration's Cyber Initiative.
Congressional leaders on Thursday questioned the Department of Homeland Security's past and present efforts to secure the government's networks and dismissed its new plan to improve security as inadequate and behind the times.

"It's hard to believe that this administration believes it has the answers to securing our networks and critical infrastructure," said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) during an often contentious hearing on President Bush's so-called Cyber Initiative before the House Committee on Homeland Security Thursday morning. "I have enormous questions about this initiative. Thus far, I have been extremely disappointed in this administration's efforts in cybersecurity."

Several committee members, including Thompson, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), were surprised by how little information DHS and other agencies involved in cybersecurity share with each other about current threats, past attacks and other critical issues.

"I have been sitting here with my mouth open. This hearing reminds me of the FEMA trailers. The fact that you don't have threat information is shocking," Harman said. "We are not being serious about our response to threats. How is that we're going to have in real time a response to a significant threat? I just don't see it."
2/29/08 update: See also this article by Andy Greenberg in Forbes.

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