Cybersecurity


How will Google/China spat end?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has told reporters in Abu Dhabi that he expects some resolution soon in his company’s ongoing row with China's government.

"I'm going to use the word 'soon', which I will not define otherwise," Reuters quoted Schmidt as telling reporters on March 10. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News cited a Google spokesperson as saying the company expected to resolve the dispute in weeks, but didn't specify what form the resolution would take.

The Associated press reported on March 10 that Schmidt’s comments in the United Arab Emirates came soon after a Chinese official reportedly dismissed reports that talks between China and Google were even underway. AP also reported that Schmidt told reporters that Google's dispute with China wasn't prompted by the U.S. government.

Google announced in January that it was no longer willing to go along with the Chinese government and censor Google.cn, a version of Google for China. The announcement, a post on the company’s blog, said the company had detected “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google.”

“These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered — combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the Web — have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China,” David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer, said at the time.

Since Drummond's announcement, the dispute has become a matter of foreign relations with Chinese and U.S. officials trading jabs over Internet policy. Meanwhile, Google Deputy General Counsel Nicole Wong told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10 during a hearing focused on the Google/China episode that the company won’t hesitate to reconsider its approach to China if the Internet giant is unable to achieve its goals.

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM1 comments


More details emerge on Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

The White House provided a glimpse on March 2 into the Bush administration's secretive, wide-ranging, multi-year, classified government program to bolster computer security. The Obama administration released a summary of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative detailing the 12 initiatives of that program, which began during the George W. Bush administration in January 2008.

Some of the information in the summary had already been reported. However, the document does provide additional detail about Einstein 3, the next-generation tool that the government is developing to protect the civilian government domain. According to the summary, the CNCI includes programs to:

  1. Manage the federal enterprise network as a single network enterprise with trusted Internet connections.

  1. Deploy an intrusion detection system of sensors across the federal enterprise. The document details the Homeland Security Department’s deployment of Einstein 2 to inspect Internet traffic entering federal systems for malicious content.

  1. Pursue the deployment of intrusion prevention systems across the federal enterprise. The document provides details about Einstein 3, which would do real-time full-packet inspection. Einstein 3 would give DHS the capability to send alerts that don’t contain the content of communications to the National Security Agency in order to bolster protection of the civilian government domain. DHS is currently conducting a pilot of Einstein 3’s capabilities based on technology developed by the National Security Agency.

  1. Develop strategies and structures for coordinating all cyber research and development that’s sponsored or conducted by the government. The initiative would also eliminate redundancies and identify research gaps.

  1. Connect cyber operations centers across the government to improve situational awareness.

  1. Put in place a governmentwide cyber counterintelligence plan to detect, deter and mitigate foreign-sponsored cyber intelligence threats to government and private-sector information systems.

  1. Bolster the security of classified networks.

  1. Expand cyber education to develop a technology-skilled and cyber-savvy workforce.

  1. Define and develop so-called leap-ahead technology, strategy and programs that can be put in place in five to 10 years.

  1. Develop enduring deterrence strategies and programs, articulating roles for private-sector and international partners, and develop appropriate responses for both state and non-state actors.

  1. Bolster the security of the supply chain by helping agencies better manage and mitigate supply chain risk.

  1. Define the federal role for cybersecurity in protecting critical infrastructure that’s mostly owned by the private sector.

Posted on Mar 05, 2010 at 7:21 PM0 comments


DHS wants your ideas for cybersecurity awareness campaign

The Homeland Security Department wants ideas from people outside the department on how to bolster public awareness about cybersecurity.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on March 3 a public competition for ideas on how to best engage the public on discussions about computer security, She announced the program, named the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Challenge Competition, at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

DHS said key areas for the program include:

  • Teamwork.
  • Ability to quantify a distribution method and receipt of a message.
  • Using Web 2.0 technology.
  • A feedback mechanism.
  • Privacy protection.
  • Repeatability.
  • Transparency.

Winners of the competition will be invited to an event in Washington in May or June and will work with DHS to plan a national cybersecurity awareness program to be ready to start in October. Proposals are due April 30.

Posted on Mar 04, 2010 at 7:21 PM0 comments


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