How Do You Legislate Fewer Attacks On Homeland Security's Network?

from the it's-called-wishful-thinking dept

While it is a bit troubling that the Department of Homeland Security has had some computer security problems recently, it's difficult to see exactly how that's solved by legislation. But, of course, to politicians with a legislative hammer, every little problem looks like a nail. Thus, we've got politicians proposing cybersecurity legislation that would require Homeland Security to decrease the number of successful cybersecurity attacks against its network. While that's certainly an admirable goal, it's not as if DHS was purposely letting the attacks go through before, and will suddenly shape up just because of this new law.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Ram A M, May 9th, 2008 @ 4:31pm

    great idea

    It would be great if DHS were held to reduce effective attacks. To make this clear consider the effect on TSA if they were required to "be effective" rather than "spend your budget on security stuff." Effective is a good thing. If DHS can prevent successfull attack then you've got to admit they are better than if they are spending the same budget but instead providing warm fuzzies or boosting the economy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    boilrmakri, May 9th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    Now How To Stop Attacks

    DHS will probably round up a bunch of "hackers" and arrest them using some new law. Makes good press and they can increase their budget to catch more hackers. I can see the news now "Hackers caught By DHS Were Wanting Your Identity"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, May 9th, 2008 @ 5:52pm

    Read the article more carefully...

    True, the only hammer a politician has is legislation
    but the legislation is to

    decrease the number of _SUCCESSFUL_ attacks.

    Always a goal, The politicians are simply reminding DHS of this fact.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2008 @ 8:29pm

    you would think shear embarrassment alone would cause DHS to actually do their job. So politicians wouldn't feel the need to waste time and our tax dollars to "legislate" something that just so they look like they're doing something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    ImanAmi, May 10th, 2008 @ 1:59am

    Sadly any legislation would be implemented and policies determined at the bureacratic level. Where the initial twin problems, lack of accountability and responsibilty, would rear their ugly heads.
    Do you think the DHS will punish themselves for failing to do their job? No. There will be a few lambs for the slaughter, but that will be overshadowed by their cry's of, "to few monetary resources" and "not enough enforcement officers" but don't forget, "we need more laws and powers to enforce the new laws".
    If we really feel the need to legislate new laws requiring government agencies to do their job and increase their efficency, the IRS and your local DMV would be great places to start.

    Have a wonderful day!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Sean, May 11th, 2008 @ 1:19am


    I think this article is a bit unfair - the headline is clearly not at one with the contents of the article! Of course one can't legislate for reducing the number of attacks, but reading the original article shows that this isn't what the legislation is for - it's for reducing the number of "successful" attacks - how that metric is derived is of course up for discussion.

    I'm not an American so I don't know exactly how the government works, but isn't DHS an executive branch, with funding provided by Congress? So isn't this more of a "you have to use the money we're giving you to this end..." rather than an executive order to "Get attacked less"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    JustMe, May 12th, 2008 @ 4:49am

    Did you read the text of the bill?

    "Establish attack-based testing protocols to reduce the number of successful exploitations of the Departmentís networks"

    Establishing tests will not necessarily reduce the number of successful attacks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, May 12th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    I don't care

    I don't care what the law is or how many children is supposedly protects. If it holds the words "and for other purposes." (pulled directly from the bill) it needs to be dumped. No law should be so vague.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Law Doggy Dog, May 12th, 2008 @ 8:39am


    do we really need ANOTHER LAW. add that to the other 8 million laws play book we've built up to this point. has anyone else had enough yet??

    here's the only laws you will ever need:

    1. don't mess with kids
    2. don't kill anybody or take anybody's stuff
    3. (might be the only one we need) BE COOL. it's not that hard people.

    Take care of one another.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Boost, May 13th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    I've got a bill proposal...

    Decrease the number a arrests for violant crime without dicouraging the arrests of offenders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    boost, May 13th, 2008 @ 10:03am

    Re: BE COOL

    You're not the ones screaming for more gun control are you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2008 @ 7:07pm

    patchwork solution

    Don't vote- veto.
    We have enough problematic and vague laws on the book.
    Instead of creating new problems, we should be dealing with the problems we already have.

    If you patch a hole with a leaky patch, it's going to leak.
    If you continue to try to stop the leak, with more patches that leak, it's going to leak.
    Eventually the patching processes will consume more of your time and resources, and quite possibly make the original item, ungainly and non-functional.

    The only people who benefit from this patchwork solution are the people making the patches(elected officials) and doing patch maintenance(lawyers).

    Nothing like writing crappy laws while on the government dole, and having 20 years guaranteed income for maintaining said crappy laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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