This Makes Me Feel Secure

from the depends-on-your-definition-of-security dept

For the third year in a row, the Department of Homeland Security has been awarded an F for its cybersecurity. Remember that this is the government agency charged with protecting, you know, computers and stuff. Perhaps it's really not that surprising, given how DHS doesn't use backups, but has an exec from an adware company on a data-privacy board and employs begging as a security technique. The results were to be revealed at a hearing today called "Is the Government Ready for a Digital Pearl Harbor?" With the DHS' F, and the federal government overall getting a D+, the answer appears to be a resounding no.


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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Tony, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 2:52pm

    terrorists have computers?

    HA first post!
    but really, what terrorist is going to use a computer to harm us right, OH WAIT!

     

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  2.  
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    Tyler, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 2:57pm

    Here's an idea

    They could infect our computers with spyware, turn everyone into email servers, and spam un into submission.

     

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  3.  
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    Smacky Mouse, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 3:09pm

    Surprise

    The government seems to be packed with idiots. Look at the FBi. $500 million for anti-terrorism computers, and they got nothing. Hell, give me 5,000 bucks and I could come up with a kick ass computer system!

     

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  4.  
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    Thatoneguy, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 3:18pm

    RE:Suprise

    Mabey for $5,000 you can come up with a kick-ass computer system, but they need a few thousand of those systems

     

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  5.  
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    Ponder, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    What, a government agency?

    What about the rest of them? Are your tax details secure? Probably at your end, but where has the government put them? But arn't hackers the best at designing firewalls, and allowing them to set the password?

     

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  6.  
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    Pimptology Professor, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 3:37pm

    The government as lost its touch when President Clinton and Bush Jr. entered office.

     

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  7.  
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    Tony, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 3:50pm

    The problem is, the Gov't is completely focused on one thing. They are so hooked and fearful of "terrorist" in the 'Arab in an Airplane' sense that they completely forget to address the aftermath of a widespread malicious computer virus, that say, attacks financial records, credit card companies or banks. Katrina is a great example of how only focusing on the front door leaves the backdoor open for anything. I can tell you this, the next terrorist attack on this country will be something that nobody thought of or expected, it only makes sense, I mean most of us pre-911 wouldn't have thought to do that....

     

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  8.  
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    web babe, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 3:53pm

    Gore me

    We ought to get Gore back in office since he invented the internet and everything.

     

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  9.  
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    Tony, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 3:58pm

    haha classic, don't forget the lockbox

     

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  10.  
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    John, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Attention

    The problem is that a "politics of passion" appears to dominate our government. Many important issues are dealt with only after a calamity, something that attracts enough media attention to get US citizens riled up and pointing fingers. I'm afraid we may suffer such a calamity in the computer world before DHS adequately addresses it's cybersecurity deficiencies.

     

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  11.  
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    Tony, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:07pm

    agreed john, our gov't works like a dog, think about it, dogs really don't decide what to do, they just walk around all day waiting for something to happen and reacting upon that, once something else gets their attention they move onto that, etc. whatever’s on their plate and satisfies the moment is what they address

     

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  12.  
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    Russell, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:11pm

    No Thanks

    Frankly I dont really want a government that is competent at computer security. I would rather do it myself, or pay someone to do it for me, because then I know they have an incentive to do it well.

    Plus The better our government is at securing stuff, the better it is going to be at hacking into my stuff. No, Thanks for the offer though.

     

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  13.  
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    Tony, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:24pm

    Agreed

    I dunno, I forget who it was that said a gov't needs over-run every 200 years, we're due, who's with me!?

     

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  14.  
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    Stephen Smith, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:28pm

    RE: #12

    Who wants to bet that a very large percentage of goverment computers are riddled with Spyware and/or Adware.

    Quick!!! Someone send the feds Ad-Aware and Spybot - Search & Destroy!!! If you don't you are with the terrorists!!!

     

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  15.  
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    WhoNu, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:38pm

    Search & Destroy

    The govment already has Spybot-Search and Destory. They bought 5,000 copies in hopes it would help them find Bin Laden...

     

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  16.  
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    Mark Landiss, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:39pm

    RE: #14

    A terrorist suspect in London infected a State-owned/operated server somewhere in Alabama (I think) and used it to distribute jihadist propaganda, training films, etc.

    To anybody who thinks it CAN'T happen, you are wrong, it HAS happened.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    John, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:59pm

    Re: No Thanks

    So maybe the government can pay someone to improve DHS security. It normally contracts out things like that anyway.

    "Frankly I dont really want a government that is competent at computer security. I would rather do it myself, or pay someone to do it for me, because then I know they have an incentive to do it well.

    Plus The better our government is at securing stuff, the better it is going to be at hacking into my stuff. No, Thanks for the offer though."

     

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  18.  
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    GoldenDragon, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 5:28pm

    People tend to be really harsh on the government, or any authority for that matter.

    Considering that the Department of Homeland security was made directly because of the new world spotlight on terrorism, it does seem obvious that they would focus their resources to trying to keep the people physically safe.

    Also, remember that these terrorists are quite unlikely to implement a cyber-attack because they just don't have the trained personnel(though, I suppose it won't be too hard if they looked.)
    Furthermore, I doubt the government has yet realized the importance of cybersecurity, since although IT has been around for decades, it is still growing and its influence has not been fully understood, thus DoHS may have left it alone.

    Could you imagine what the public reaction would be if they decided to spend alot of their money on cyber-security? if the public found out, atleast a few would be disturbed that homeland security is doing this, and not a better agency specifically focusing on technological issues.

    nevertheless, the fact that the entire government averages a D in terms of cybersecurity isn't very encouraging, but also anticipated since most (local/county and maybe even state) institutions are run by people who have very minimal understanding of technology, I doubt this will change until about a decade or so when the current generation has taken charge.

     

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  19.  
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    Cody, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 6:18pm

    Force 'em to secure it

    Solution: Collect all the best hackers, and have them start hacking away.

    They'll have no choice but to improve security.

     

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  20.  
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    Jason, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 7:40pm

    No system is ever secure....

    really people. the best security in the world still has cracks in it. All the hubub about the little stuff is what the terrorist want. the name says it all...TERRORists. They want us afraid. The DHS and all this stuff has been a joke since day one. There is a simple answer to all of it. You will die/be hurt/ whatever someday....deal with it. Until we show the bastards that they can't scare us to death...they win.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Kourgin, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Agreed

    Im with you on over-running the government.. Lets start off by starting a mass suicide! Everyone who reads this, please, do the country a favor, kill yourself ^^

    But really, Im in canada and I know its time you guys changed your ways

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Force 'em to secure it

    Brilliant!

     

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  23.  
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    Jason, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 7:42pm

    yeah brilliant...dopes

    sure help out by causing mass problems.dolts

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Agreed

    If I remember correctly, it was good ol' TJ that said that - and it was every 20 years a revolution, not every 200 years. We're /very/ long overdue. ¡Viva la Revolución! ¡Viva!

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    C, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 10:01pm

    Want to fix this?

    One word:
    Cybermarines

    The government needs to round up all these brilliant, bored kids we have running around that hack and crack.... and GIVE THEM JOBS.
    They have proven themselves time and time again, they're the best at what they do - and think what they could do to some outdated Win95-running pentium 75 that controls the coolant system on those nuclear reactors in Iran. "You want a bomb noobs? Okay, we'll give you one."

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2006 @ 11:31am

    I have to take off my shoes to get on an airplane, but Homeland Security can even secure its own network?

    Hmmmm, what about this doesn't make sense?

     

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