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[infowar.de] Richard Clarke will sicheres GOVNET bauen
Am ersten Tag im Dienst spuckt der neue Cybersicherheits-Papst schon
recht große Töne. Auf das Internet II, das Unis und Regierung gerade
entwickeln, geht er gar nicht ein. Anscheinend will man nur die ohnehin
vorhandenen Regierungs- und Militärnetze miteinander verbinden. Was das
Pentagon wohl dazu sagt? ;-)
Top Cybercop Wants New Net
2:15 p.m. Oct. 10, 2001 PDT
WASHINGTON -- After one day on the job, the president's cyberspace
security adviser asked computer companies Wednesday to help design a
nnew secure telecommunications network for government use.
Richard Clarke said he wants the network, called GOVNET, to be separate
from the Internet to keep it safe from hackers or terrorists.
Government agencies would use GOVNET for voice and data communications,
and possibly for videoconferences presidential advisers have used since
the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Planning for this network has been going on for several months," Clarke
said in a memo to the industry.
The nation's counterterrorism chief for more than a decade, Clarke has
pressed private industry to increase computer security by improving its
"We'll be working even more with them in the future, to secure our
cyberspace from a range of possible threats, from hackers to criminals
to terrorist groups, to foreign nations, which might use cyber war
against us," Clarke said Tuesday when his new job was announced.
>From his previous post at the National Security Council, he warned that
America's fledgling Internet was vulnerable to a "digital Pearl Harbor"
that could badly disrupt communications.
Those warnings were echoed Wednesday on Capitol Hill, where experts told
Congress that part of the problem is that current computer systems were
not designed with security in mind.
"Security cannot be easily or adequately added on after the fact and
this greatly complicates our overall mission," Purdue University's
Eugene Spafford said. "The software and hardware being deployed today
has been designed by individuals with little or no security training,
using unsafe methods, and then poorly tested."
The government relies on all types of technology companies from personal
computer software to public telephone networks.
Recent independent reviews have shown computers at many government
agencies are open to a hacker attack. In theory, GOVNET would be
impervious to outside assault particularly from lone young hackers, the
most common Internet attacker.
The chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert,
said research and development on computer security has not kept pace
with growing threats.
"To put it simply, we need more people to be doing more creative
thinking about computer security. That's what our adversaries are
doing," said Boehlert, R-N.Y.
University of Virginia professor William A. Wulf said that because not
enough government money is spent on computer security research, experts
tend to be conservative. "Out of the box thinking in an area of scarce
resources doesn't get funded," he said.
The GOVNET proposal could cost billions of dollars.
The government wants the network up and running six months after a
contractor is picked, although there is no deadline for the contract to
"A system like this can help us break through the cloud of the Internet
and provide a separate network where the integrity of government
information can be protected," said Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, a
leader on computer security issues.
Many parts of the government, including the CIA and the Defense
Department, operate separate classified networks. Mark Rasch, a former
Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor, said those networks could
be expanded and integrated to form GOVNET.
An additional challenge is that GOVNET would have limited value because
it could not access the World Wide Web.
A better way, Rasch suggested, might be to improve the ways sensitive
information is encrypted and sent over public networks such as the
"We're not building new highways so we can move tanks and troops from
one place to another," Rasch said. "We build the highways so they can
handle the transfer of both cars and trucks and, if necessary, tanks and
Copyright © 2001 Associated Press
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