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[infowar.de] Tech Industry Begs for Oversight
Das Thema des Heise-Artikels "US-Sicherheitsexperten fordern bessere
Ausbildung für Softwareentwickler [02.04.2004 11:57]" in auführlicherer
Form bei Wired.
James Lewis vom CSIS fasst es so zusammen: Die IT-Industrie sei zur
Erkenntnis gelangt "that absent some kind of pressure, software isn't
going to get better."
Damit die Software-Insdustrie dem auch nachkommen kann, beinhaltet ihr
Forderungskatalog an die Regierung: "Providing unspecified incentives to
companies for reducing software defects." Ob das heißen soll, dass z.B.
Microsoft den Internet Explorer sicher macht, wenn es im Gegenzug
vielleicht Sonderabschreibungsmöglichkeiten gibt?
Immerhin erkennt das zumindest einst wirtschaftslibertäre Silicon Valley
auch an, dass staatliche Intervention manchmal geboten ist. Das ist ein
Wandel. Noch 1998 hatte Thomas Friedman diesen vaterlandslosen Gesellen
("We are not an American company. We are I.B.M. U.S., I.B.M. Canada,
I.B.M. Australia, I.B.M. China.") in seiner NY-Times-Kolumne vorgeworfen,
sie würden nur Elektronen und Stock Options kennen, dem Staat jegliche
Ansprüche abstreiten und die Grundregel der Globalisierung verleugnen:
"The hidden hand of the global market would never work without the hidden
fist." Nun den Staat geradewegs dazu zu drängen, dem Markt Verpflichtungen
aufzugeben, läßt auf einen Paradigmenwechsel in der Softwareindustrie
schließen. Oder auf viele Regierungsaufträge. Oder beides.
Tech Industry Begs for Oversight
Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,62908,00.html
03:35 PM Apr. 01, 2004 PT
WASHINGTON -- In a surprise shift, leading software companies acknowledge
in a report to the Bush administration that government might need to force
the U.S. technology industry to improve the security of America's computer
The companies, including Microsoft and Computer Associates International,
said the Homeland Security Department "should examine whether tailored
government action is necessary" to compel improvements in the design of
The 250-page report containing that recommendation and dozens more was
being released Thursday. It cautioned that government should require
security improvements only when market forces fail. It also said
businesses already are demanding software that is safer and more resilient
But the report said the most sensitive computer networks -- such as those
operating banks, telephone networks or water pipelines -- "may require a
greater level of security than the market will provide."
In those cases, the software companies recommend "appropriate and tailored
government action that interferes with market innovation on security as
little as possible." It urged the government to work with companies to
produce a formal study during the 2005 fiscal year, which begins in
The public acknowledgment that any level of new government regulation
might be needed to improve software security represents an important shift
by the technology industry. It has vigorously contested mandates from
Washington during the past decade, even in the face of increasingly
devastating attacks by new generations of hackers and viruses.
"That's a big lean in the right direction," said Alan Paller of the SANS
Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, a computer-security organization. "It's a
nod to reality; they're nodding but they've got their heels dug in."
The industry recommendations were solicited by the Homeland Security
Department's cybersecurity division in December.
The report was put together by experts who included representatives from
the Defense Department, National Security Agency, technology companies and
universities. The group was organized by executives at Microsoft and
"When you look at the key recommendations of the report, the road ahead is
for government and industry to establish a vision for how we can take
steps going forward to make the cyber infrastructure safer," said
co-chairman Scott Charney, Microsoft's chief security strategist.
James Lewis of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International
Studies, who also participated, described the industry's shift as
"recognition that absent some kind of pressure, software isn't going to
The report did not recommend whether companies should be made legally
liable over shabby software, except to note that "vendors are avoiding
almost all liability for any damages done or expenses caused to their
customers and users from software security problems."
Co-chairman Ron Moritz, the chief security strategist at Computer
Associates, said questions about liability were too complicated to be
included in the report.
Other recommendations include:
Spending at least $12 million, including $6 million in government money,
during the next 19 months for a dozen new academic fellowships nationwide
to teach future computer engineers to design safer software.
Providing unspecified incentives to companies for reducing software
Offering bounties for information leading to the conviction of hackers
and virus writers.
Establishing a cybersecurity report card for operators of the most
important computer networks.
Setting up a government laboratory to keep track of software repairing
patches and test how effectively they work.
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