Friday, April 18, 2008

Chertoff Gears Up For Internet Lock-Down

Chertoff Likens U.S. Cyber Security To 'Manhattan Project'
By Thomas Claburn

In a keynote address at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff warned that the damage caused by a large-scale cyberattack might result in consequences comparable to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center buildings in New York.

"We have to look not only at threats that have materialized in the past," said Chertoff. "We have to consider the threats that may materialize in the future. ... We know that a successful large-scale cyberattack against our country would have very wide-reaching consequences."

Through the Internet, terrorists and criminals can do the kind of damage they could never do on their own, Chertoff said.

"Imagine what would happen if it were possible for hackers to enter the air travel system," he said.

Chertoff characterized cybersecurity as a very serious challenge, one that is likely to grow more serious over time. A network response, he said, is necessary to deal with network attacks.

"It takes a network to beat a network," said Chertoff.

Though US-CERT, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which provides information necessary to defend the nation's networks, Chertoff hopes to bring additional resources to bear to defend the country's computers.

Chertoff likened the government's attempt to improve its cybersecurity to the intensive effort of the Manhattan Project that brought the atomic bomb to fruition. In January, President Bush signed an order that gave DHS and the National Security Agency greater power to oversee government computer security. Details about what the agencies are doing remain classified.

Chertoff also emphasized the need for the federal government to engage with the private sector, given that so much of the nation's critical infrastructure is secured by private organizations.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Post a Comment