Rudy Giuliani To Head Up Trump's Cybersecurity Team As The Internet Laughs At Giuliani's Security Bona Fides

from the sigh dept

Our soon-to-be American President has made quite a show about bolstering the country's efforts for cybersecurity. The "cyber", as he is wont to call the issue, is claimed to be in disrepair and requires brave new minds to protect the country's computer systems from hacks and attacks from outside forces. We've already discussed in the past how depressing it is to learn just how little actual computer science knowledge exists floating in the minds of our elected leaders and their top-level appointees. There is an opportunity to get very smart, very well-educated people on matters of cybersecurity involved in government.

But it appears that Trump is choosing instead to pass on that opportunity, instead tapping Rudy Giuliani to head up his cybersecurity task force. Giuliani runs a consulting firm that claims to be involved in cybersecurity, of course, except that the extent of its work on the subject appears to be the claims that it does so.

Giuliani does head a consulting firm in New York called Giuliani Partners that supposedly focuses on cybersecurity, but Vice’s Motherboard reported yesterday, it’s tough to tell what they actually do, and it’s even tougher to tell what Giuliani does for them, besides being the face of the operation while saying outrageous things on television.

As Motherboard’s Jason Koebler and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai wrote, “Unlike many other cybersecurity firms, Giuliani Partners does not publish white papers about malware and large-scale hacks, or push for increased adoption of encryption, which would enhance cybersecurity across the board. In fact, it doesn’t talk much about cybersecurity at all, instead choosing to focus on its more traditional anti-crime consulting work.”

So we're off to a great start. Instead of bringing in someone with actual knowledge and experience in cybersecurity, the President Elect has instead put a cybersecurity cosplayer in charge. And not even a particularly good impersonator of a cybersecurity expert, it seems, as the internet has already begun poking fun at the security measures, or lack thereof, Giuliani Consulting has deployed for its own website.


We might be better off if Trump decided to employ one of the four-hundred pound slobs in their mother's basement he's referenced previously, as they seem to have a better handle on the very basics of web security than Giuliani. And they'd probably be cheaper as well, as the former mayor is on the record that his "cybersecurity firm" was more a venture of opportunism than one of added value for his clients.

Look, combating risks on "the cyber" (sigh) may indeed require a high-profile face, if only for the purposes of reassurance and PR. Sadly, those purposes are not fulfilled by a former mayor with a cybersecurity company that doesn't do cybersecurity, even for its own website.


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  • icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:48am

    Honestly, I think I'd trust Trump's 10 year old to handle pretty much anything tech related in the Trump administration over pretty much anyone Trump is likely to pick to fill those slots.

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

  • icon
    killthelawyers (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:48am

    Knowledge is Overrated.

    Who needs knowledge or ability when you have 9/11.

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:52am

    Cybersecurity Leader

    I'm guessing that someone once explained to him what write-protect tabs are for.

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

    • identicon
      Max, 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:26am

      Re: Cybersecurity Leader

      I'm wondering if they ever bothered to also tell him that (at least on SD cards) the write protect is an INDICATION ("please don't write on me would you") rather than something actually ENFORCED by the card's hardware. It's entirely up to the card controller hardware and the software in charge of it whether they chose to respect that...

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

  • identicon
    Beech, 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:53am

    Our bad

    I guess it is our own fault. When Trump promised to "drain the swamp" we should have realized that he was planning on draining it into the White House.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:00am

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/13/giuliani_joomla_outdated_site/

    Perfect guy to run the cyber thingy.

    But that's not the funny part, no. How could it be, when we're talking about Drumpf's cyber thingy? There's got to be more...

    If you actually try to navigate to giulianisecurity.com you get a (wait for it...) server not found error.

    One can only wonder why.

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

  • identicon
    kallethen, 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:06am

    This makes me cringe as much as Trump meeting with RFK Jr (a known anti-vaxxer) on a possibility of a committee on vaccination safety. Granted, the Trump camp has since downplayed the meeting as no appointment being assured, but still...

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

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:18am

    It's like Trumplthinskin is saying, "Who's the worst person I can find for Dept X".

    EPA somebody who's sued the EPA.
    Labor somebody who doesn't like minimum wage.
    FCC somebody who doesn't like communications.
    Cyber Security somebody who doesn't know a bit from a bite (yes, bite, not byte).

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:39am

      Re:

      Keep in mind that the architect of Trump's presidency - his Karl Rove - is Steve Bannon of Breitbart, a champion of white supremacists.

      "I'm Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that's my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment...

      - chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon, to a Daily Beast reporter in 2013

      Now he's systematically appointing people to lead government departments who want to tear down those departments.

      This is what makes the PeeOTUS claim so scary: No-one would be foolish enough NOT to expect someone like Trump to be spied on in that particular suite. If the allegation is true, it could only mean that Trump WANTS to inflict maximum damage on the US government.

      Which sounds insane, but its consistent with his cabinet appointments and other decisions.

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

  • icon
    Blaine (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:19am

    Question for Trump

    Would you put Rudy Giuliani in charge of "the cyber" security for all of your private businesses?

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:23am

    In His Defense...

    I'm sure that Rudy Giuliani's judgement on cybersecurity is every bit as good as his judgement on who should be made President.

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

  • icon
    TruthHurts (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:40am

    Check the bad hair-piece...

    I hate to say this, but I think Russian hackers have taken over the PeotUS. During a recent upgrade of his hairpiece, Russian hackers implanted dermal transducers and a hot-air charger to keep them powered up.

    Now, all they have to do is sit back, relax inside their siberian prison and type "I think it, you say it."

    It's the only thing that makes sense out of the Cheetoh faced shit-gibbon's decisions to put the people in charge of the government entities that he has.

    Seriously, for each assignment, it's as if he and/or his staff have gone out of their way to find *the* *absolute* *worst* *candidate* *possbile* and then selected them.

    In my opinion, each and every one of his decisions have been akin to putting a convicted child molester in charge of the local daycare.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:41am

    Giuliani reassured us when NY was a smoking ruin;

    Now he'll reassure us when the entire U.S. is a smoking (cyber) ruin.

    I really don't know how SNL keeps up; they must have to tear up 10-15 scripts/day due to being gazumped by Trump (ga-Trumped? ga-Tweeted?).

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

  • icon
    hij (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:43am

    Seems legit

    Hmmm...

    $ host www.giulianisecurity.com

    Host www.giulianisecurity.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

    That is a good thing, right?

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

  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:43am

    Typical

    This is the Republican MO these days. Prove that government doesn't work by appointing spectacularly unqualified people to fail us.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 17 Jan 2017 @ 2:13am

      Re: Typical

      Agreed. Next up: anarchy (lack of governance via lack of government) followed by corporate tyranny because the market, in its infinite wisdom, will provide.

      They're not conservative any more (the Dem right wing has taken that role over), they're anarchists. And anarchy always leads to tyranny by creating a power vacuum that lets them in.

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

  • icon
    crade (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 10:51am

    She wasn't on the apprentice *or dancing with the stars*, so she can't possibly be qualified to be head of cyber security.

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

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 13 Jan 2017 @ 11:41am

    Giuliani conversation with staffer

    G: The solution is padlocks. More padlocks.

    Staffer: Great idea, sir. Encryption is necessary. It really is a high-tech padlock.

    G: No, I mean actual padlocks. We need more padlocks. We can lock everything up. Put everything in boxes and then lock it up with padlocks. Not the cheap school gym locker kind, we'll get those huge industrial worksite padlocks.

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

  • identicon
    Anonimus, 13 Jan 2017 @ 11:51am

    Please don't fatshame

    "We might be better off if Trump decided to employ one of the four-hundred pound slobs in their mother's basement he's referenced previously, as they seem to have a better handle on the very basics of web security than Giuliani."

    That was uncalled for. Their weight and residential location are irrelevant. It's the fact that they are assholes that got them referenced by Trump.

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

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:23pm

      Re: Please don't fatshame

      That isn't Tim fat-shaming, it's Trump. He's suggesting that the people Trump is so derisive towards (slurs included) would clearly be better for the job. Which, incidentally, is noted in the statement via the word "referenced". _"someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds."_ It had nothing to do with anyone being assholes, and everything to do with the hack being done by any number of other actors besides Russians.

      So maybe you should talk to Trump about that.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Please don't fatshame

      It's the fact that they are assholes that got them referenced by Trump.

      I'd like to point out that despite being assholes, it's quite feasible that they have better opsec than Giuliani's "security firm," and are thus better qualified.

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

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 11:58am

    You guys, these are the "best people" out there. So Great. You wouldn't believe how smart. Trust me.

    This is how we're rewarded ambiguity in campaign statements. Would anyone have been excited if he'd been naming these names the whole time?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:18pm

      Re:

      I would. I love seeing USA burn the government in effigy for 8 more years! How I missed Bushs entertainment. I love that Trump is openly believing in conspiracy theories over god! That is going to be even more hillary than Hillary. We all know why Bill Clinton would want some on the side after that election campaign! She would have been far too boring for the white crypt.

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

      • identicon
        kallethen, 13 Jan 2017 @ 2:00pm

        Re: Re:

        As much as I was not a fan of Dubya, at least he picked competent people for his staff positions (meaning they at least knew their fields, political opinions aside).

        Plus Bush-isms were just comedy gold.

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

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 13 Jan 2017 @ 2:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not exactly. Dubya appointed the head of FEMA a guy who ran horse shows prior. Not exactly related, but not the 'burn it all down' types Dumpfkins is appointing.

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

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 3:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There's also the whole Iraq invasion and war.

            For Gulf War I, Bush I gave the professionals in the Pentagon a set of goals and let them handle it. For Gulf War II, Bush II and his band of chickenhawks micromanaged the Pentagon and made the decisions themselves.

            It didn't go well. (Unless you're Cheney and the other chickenhawks who owned stock in Halliburton/KBR. Small wonder it lasted longer than WWII.)

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      To give Trump credit, he's right about one thing. I wouldn't believe how smart.

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

  • identicon
    boomslang, 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:18pm

    Not that shocking

    Robert Graham does a good job of putting this story into perspective: http://blog.erratasec.com/2017/01/about-that-giuliani-website.html

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 16 Jan 2017 @ 12:46am

      Re: Not that shocking

      "All this tells us is that Verio/NTT.net is a crappy hosting provider, not that Giuliani has done anything wrong."

      Rubbish. Nobody thinks that Giuliani personally set up the website. But, he *did* hire the people who did, who did a bad job and then the site was allowed to fester with major issues that were not fixed. He hired the people who failed, no matter how you look at it.

      That is exactly the problem. Nobody thinks that Giuliani is going to personally set up any security, either. But he *will* be in charge of hiring skilled competent people to do that. If he can't make sure that the public facing window of his security company is competently set up, what is the policy and government defence he's in charge of going to look like?

      The issue isn't his personal IT skills, the issue his ability to manage the job at hand - and he has failed miserably.

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:22pm

    T Minus 7 Days ...

    ...and counting...

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

  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:52pm

    What do you expect.....

    What do you expect from a soon to be President that seems to have difficulty functioning as a normal human being?

    I'm all for democracy but seriously the guy is a fucking fruitcake, with extra nuts. I don't even live in the US and I'm genuinely worried about how the world is turning.

    I wouldn't trust him to look after the contents of my fridge, never mind the US presidency.

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

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:58pm

      Re: What do you expect.....

      Maybe we'll get lucky. Trumplthinskin and Rodrigo Duterte could get stuck in an elevator together and that will be that.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:12pm

    Welcome to the new Guliani IT policy.

    step 1. in the event of terrorist attack, WOPR (from the movie wargames) will be used to fire missiles at the enemy
    step 2. All citizens will be intructed to lift the telephone handset so the internet cuts out.
    step 3. A teenage boy will be commanded to 'cyber hack' through a wireframe maze, shooting all the enemy firewalls until the screen reads 'ACCESS GRANTED' in large green letters.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:34pm

    Can we get that button yet?

    Given these kinds of stories, and what they imply for the next four years(at least), we really need that 'Sad But True' button, as I imagine it would get a lot of use.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 3:58pm

      Re: Can we get that button yet?

      I noticed something undeniably "Sad But True" about my ego while making a "Friend Of Techdirt" donation last night:

      My posts occasionally get voted "insightful" or "funny." On Sunday I made the "Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week" list again. It turns out that I make larger donations when people laugh at my jokes or call me insightful.

      A "Sad But True" button wouldn't have the same effect.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2017 @ 3:56am

        Re: Re: Can we get that button yet?

        Well then. I shall pay more attention to your posts and be sure to tag them appropriately and your larger donation can help to make up for my lack of funds

        Have an insightful for giving me the idea.

        And thank-you! TD needs all the support it can get right now.

        Money should not equal speech when someone like billionaire Thiel can accumulate more money in one day for doing nothing(interest), than 50 000 of us will donate in one week.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 16 Jan 2017 @ 4:20am

    Trump isn't worried about the expertise of who he's appointing to key roles in the team. He's either putting his buddies or his relatives.

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


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