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[] Government Not Ready for Cyberattacks,

Government Not Ready for Cyberattacks
June 26, 2002
Internet News

The U.S. government is due for a "major" cyberattack within the next
12 months and is unprepared to counter the threat, according to report
released Tuesday evening by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

This time, it isn't the relatively uninformed opinion of the general
public indicating worry over the security of government information,
as a December 2001 poll revealed, but IT professionals in the business
world -- the individuals who protect sensitive information on a daily

The poll was conducted after Congress issued a failing grade to
federal computer security efforts in November 2001.

Tuesday's "BSA Cyber Security Survey" found that more than half of
those polled think the likelihood of a major attack is likely within
the next year. The survey polled corporate IT managers around the
country for their views on the readiness of government networks, the
results of which show businesses have little faith in U.S.

According to Robert Holleyman, BSA president and chief executive
officer, the threat has, if anything, grown since the events of 9/11.
He called on President George W. Bush and his Administration to seek
help from the business world for help securing government intranets
and Internet sites.

"It is critical that the Bush Administration and Congress move quickly
on their commitments both financial and philosophical to secure this
nation and its critical infrastructure," he said. "And as an industry
that is developing the systems necessary to secure our country's
complex information networks from terrorists and other attackers, we
stand ready to help them follow through on those commitments to secure
the resources and develop policies that promote a safe and legal
online world."

Ipsos Public Affairs, a Parisian subsidiary of Ipsos Research,
conducted the survey of 395 IT professionals earlier this month, in a
variety of business sectors. The results show, among other things,
that 85 percent of respondents think the government should devote as
much or more time than they did on the Y2K "crisis," where fears were
ultimately proved unwarranted.

Other results show:

By a margin of 10-to-one, IT managers are more likely to say
government security measures are "not at all" adequate than extremely
adequate.  72 percent of respondents felt there was a gap between the
government's preparedness and the threat of cyberattack.  96 percent
feel the government should deploy some form of encryption to sensitive
data so information is protected even in the event of a break-in.

U.S. networks have been the recipients of a number of
highly-publicized network breaches this year. A couple of teenage
hackers calling themselves the "Deceptive Duo" made it their mission
in life to break into military Web servers and publish the information
contained within the databases.

Before getting apprehended by the Federal Bureau of Investigations
after only several weeks on the job, PimpShiz and The Rev had hacked
into more than a dozen military, government and financial Web servers.
In the case of the U.S. Navy, the pair broke into a supposedly secure
server, published the contents of a database, helped military IT staff
repair the breach, and then broke into another Navy server two weeks

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