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[] Security chief urges partnering,

Die unendliche Geschichte, Teil 2334322. Nur mit gutem Zureden wird das
nie etwas. Aber dass die .gov-Leute ihre eigene PPP-Arbeit inzwischen
"unacceptable" nennen, ist schon bemerkenswert.

Security chief urges partnering

By Florence Olsen 
Feb. 11, 2004 

A Homeland Security Department official said this morning that the 
government's record of fostering public/private partnerships for 
securing cyberspace has been unacceptable.

While claiming progress on cybersecurity, Amit Yoran, director of the 
National Cyber Security Division at DHS, vowed that the government 
would work harder on developing its relationships with the private 
sector in the coming year and would also pursue a long-term agenda 
that may not see results for many years to come.

Yoran said that while DHS is focused "on changing the fundamental 
ground rules of cybersecurity," it also has more immediate tasks on 
its agenda, such as building what he described as a survivable network 
for sharing critical information if the Internet and other 
communications systems are brought down by an attack. 

Speaking at a breakfast meeting of the Information Technology 
Association of America, a group that represents IT companies, Yoran 
said he is often asked to describe a catastrophic cyberattack, or 
"digital Pearl Harbor." He declines to paint such scenarios, but he 
said that the government has begun modeling such attacks and is in the 
process of building a survivable infrastructure, called the Cyber 
Warning and Information Network. Progress on creating the network "is 
notable," he said, "but is not complete."

Yoran said that DHS will be thinking of cybersecurity in broad terms 
and trying to avoid a too-narrow focus on cyberterrorism. For that 
reason, he said, many of the government's long-term cybersecurity 
efforts will be to improve practices used within the software industry 
to develop and evaluate software code, in part by using more automated 
techniques for writing secure software.

Given the trends toward having larger and larger teams of coders 
working on software and sending coding jobs offshore, Yoran said that 
government and industry must also develop better methods for detecting 
the presence of backdoors and other insecurities in software. 

Citing the DHS' National Cyber Alert System as an accomplishment, 
Yoran said it attracted 250,000 subscribers in less than a week of its 
launch on Jan. 28, "a genuinely not-too-shabby reach for our first 
week in operation."

He also noted that the department has formed three new operational 
groups that are contributing to the national cybersecurity effort. One 
is the Chief Information Security Officers Forum, an organization of 
senior officials responsible for cybersecurity in their federal 

A second is the Government Forum of Incident Response Teams, whose 
members are systems operators from DHS and from other federal civilian 
and military agencies who meet to work out interoperability problems.

A third is the Cyber Interagency Incident Management Group, which is 
made up of law enforcement, national security and Defense Department 
officials that work on coordinating plans for responding to incidents.

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