Cybersecurity


Regulators, first responders square off for a piece of the 'D Block'

Although public safety officials, lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agree that a next-generation national wireless communications network for public safety officials is needed, they’re battling over how to make that happen.

The fight centers around the the "D Block—the remaining 10 megahertz (MHz) of unlicensed wireless spectrum in the 700 MHz band.

Most of the country’s first-responder organizations are lobbying Congress to lift requirements that the FCC auction off the slice of spectrum, and they want lawmakers to reallocate the D Block for first-responder use.

Meanwhile, another coalition that includes the FCC wants an auction and argues that the most cost effective way to create a next-generation public-safety broadband network is through using commercial incentives.

Check out this article in The Crime Report for more detail.

Posted on May 06, 2010 at 7:21 PM0 comments


DHS names directors for US-CERT, National Cyber Security Division

Randal Vickers has been named director of the Homeland Security Department’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and Roberta Stempfley has been picked to head DHS’ National Cyber Security Division (NCSD).

NCSD works with public, private, and international organizations to secure cyberspace. US-CERT, part of the NCSD, provides response support and defense against cyberattacks for the .gov domain used by civilian federal agencies, and it collaborates with state and local government, industry and international partners. 

Both officials started their new jobs April 12. Vickers has been acting as head of US-CERT since last August when the previous director, Mischel Kwon, resigned. Stempfley comes to DHS from the Defense Information Systems Agency. 

Posted on Apr 20, 2010 at 7:21 PM0 comments


Pick to lead DOD's Cyber Command to face senators April 15

Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, is scheduled to have his confirmation hearing to lead the Defense Department's Cyber Command April 15 before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the establishment of the command last June, and the organization was supposed to reach initial operating capability last October. However, senators hadn't held a confirmation session for Alexander, the Obama administration’s pick to lead the command.

The Washington Post reported in January that the plan to establish the command has been slowed by lawmakers' questions about the command's mission and by privacy concerns.

Meanwhile, Alexander told lawmakers that the United States should counter cyberattacks quickly and strongly and thwart or disable a threat even when it’s not known who was behind the exploit, according to an article by the Associated Press. The article cited a Senate questionnaire Alexander filled out, in which he also said the biggest challenge facing the command would be bolstering the defense of military networks.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

Posted on Apr 14, 2010 at 7:21 PM0 comments


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