Black Hat, White Collar: Former NSA, CIA Director Makes His Cyber Mark
The cyber world is buzzing this week with the latest news and comments made at the annual Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas. And as the media continue to report on the event, it seems that one man in particular has already stolen the security show.
Retired US Air Force General Michal Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, at the conference on Thursday, spoke of cyber attacks and cyber warfare, as well as the government’s current plans in regards to both.
According to Wired, Hayden, now a principal at security firm the Chertoff Group, in a keynote discussion said that “Ideas have been raised about forming the cyber equivalent of demilitarized zones for sensitive networks, such as the power grid and financial networks, that would be off-limits to attack from nation states,” all the while acknowledging that the idea “contradicts the view in kinetic warfare where attacks on power grids and other infrastructures are considered legitimate targets.”
Meanwhile, the Financial Times, also reporting from Black Hat, suggests that Hayden “downplayed” White House Cyber Czar Howard Schmidt’s comment earlier this year that the US is already at cyberwar with China – and losing.
Telling attendees that the US is working to establish international agreements that could set certain cyber weapon limits, the FT said Hayden noted that “The recently created US Cyber Command was spending 90 percent of its time on defending federal government networks and that some concrete steps could improve protection of privately held infrastructure as well.”
And citing a more fiery side of the former general, Forbes reported that Hayden addressed his cyber counterparts stating, “You guys made the cyber domain look like the north German plain. Then you bitch and moan when you get invaded. On the Internet, we are all Poland. We all get invaded on the Web. The inherent geography of this domain is that everything plays to the offense.”
Additional coverage of Hayden’s comments from Black Hat include:
General to US officials: ‘Quit whining, act like a man, defend yourself’ (eSecurity Planet)
US understanding of cyberwar still immature, says former NSA director (Government Computer News)
Additional cybersecurity news follows:
DHS struggles to define its cybersecurity mission (Federal Computer Week)
Army plans private cloud (Information Week)
UK announces Cyber Security Challenge winner (The Register)