WikiLeaks and Black Hat: A Busy Week for the Cyber World
This week has proved to be busy for the cyber world and those with a close eye on security.
Kicking off the week with the Wikileaks case that exposed more than 90K secret US military documents, the Washington bureau of the Agence France Presse reported that “WikiLeaks highlights the security challenges of the digital age, when gigabytes of sensitive data can be exposed with a single click.”
And while the source for the documents has not yet been identified, James Lewis, cybersecurity expert for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the AFP, “You’ve got to rethink how you secure information.”
But it appears another group may already be rethinking security this week, as Black Hat USA 2010, a conference on all things information security, kicked off yesterday in Las Vegas, NV.
The conference, a two-day affair, features top cybersecurity experts as keynote speakers discussing everything from software holes to problematic vulnerabilities in the nation’s key infrastructure, with the latter being the topic of choice for Randy Vickers, director of the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a division of DHS.
On a conference panel yesterday, Vickers warned, “With decades of IT infrastructure built to support changing technologies, there is little ability to baseline the entire infrastructure within the United States. This variety of platforms and applications provides many possible vectors by which to attack infrastructure,” Information Week reported.
Also at the conference, PC World noted, “Department of Homeland Security sent its highest-ranking official ever to speak at the Black Hat conference this week, and its Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute ended up fielding a few tough questions from skeptical computer security professionals in attendance.”
During a conference Q&A, one attendee asked Lute her thoughts on a potential cyber 9/11 and whether or not the US is capable of protecting its computer networks before a cyber catastrophe.
Lute’s response: “I’m a person who believes that this country can protect itself. I don’t know what’s inevitable, and I think that anybody who lived through the events of 1989 [when the Berlin Wall fell] or who lived through the events of 2001 has lost the right to say that anything is impossible.”
Additional cybersecurity news follows:
Cyberwar Is Hell (Newsweek)