Facing Cyber Spooks
Just in time for Halloween, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) unleashed a “scary reality” of the nation’s cyber vulnerabilities in an op-ed featured on The Hill’s Congress Blog.
Recognizing the month as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Sen. Carper advised that there is a growing threat of cyber terrorists and hackers capable of bringing down “everything from power plants to military installations with a few key strokes.”
“We have to do more to protect our critical information networks,” Carper added, noting that he will continue to work with his Congressional colleagues to pass the much-talked-about Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, a comprehensive bill he co-sponsored with Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.)
Meanwhile, it seems another cyber threat is looming for the government, as well as visitors to a certain dot-gov domain.
According to a report from NextGov, stimulus spending websites established by The Recovery Act, in relation to the Department of Transportation, face major security flaws and are vulnerable to online attacks.
Taking a closer look, an analysis released yesterday by the DOT inspector general revealed 1,759 high-risk threats to the department’s system.
“These vulnerable websites could put users’ computers in danger by allowing hackers to gain access to the users’ computer and their personal information,” Earl Hedges, assistant inspector general for DOT’s financial and information technology audits reported. “One particular vulnerability, found on eight of the 13 websites, could allow hackers to use the websites to launch attacks on users’ computers.”
But before you start avoiding dot-gov sites, check out the White House’s latest cyber creation: The Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy.
According to InformationWeek, the White House council on technology’s newly established subcommittee will “attempt to balance the Internet’s economic opportunity with people’s right to privacy… and will aim to synchronize the practices of federal agencies with policy being considered and developed by lawmakers.”
And what does all of this mean for you?
Despite it sounding like another Big Brother technique, InformationWeek notes that the subcommittee will focus on “facilitating transparency, promoting cooperation, empowering people to make informed and intelligent choices, strengthening multi-stakeholder governance models and building trust in online environments.”
Scared yet? If not, check out additional cybersecurity news making today’s headlines:
Reps. King and Issa would gain cyber influence in GOP-controlled House (GovInfoSecurity)
DHS could rate software manufacturers according to their supply chain (FierceGovernmentIT)
DoD’s ‘hybrid’ cyber policy (ExecutiveGov)
DHS-DOD Cyber-Alliance = Privacy Threat? (NextGov)
Deloitte to sponsor National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (The New New Internet)
Bredolab botnet taken down after Dutch intervention (SC Magazine)
The age of cyber war has arrived (Montreal Gazette)
A new approach to cyber defense (Arabic International Daily)