[ISN] DHS doesn't take cyberattack threats seriously, former IG says

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Jun 7 01:09:17 EDT 2006

Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk at c4i.org>


By Christopher J. Dorobek
June 6, 2006 

HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- The United States and the Homeland Security
Department are "manifestly and woefully unprepared" for a cyberattack,
the former DHS inspector general said.

Al Qaeda is training people and focusing on launching cyberattacks,
but DHS has "failed to make this a priority," said Clark Ervin, the
director of the Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Initiative and
former DHS IG, speaking at the American Council for Technology's
Management of Change conference here.

DHS is on its fifth cybersecurity leader. That is an indication of the
department's lack of focus on this issue, he said, and it is an
illustration of how unprepared the agency is to serve as a model for
how cybersecurity should be handled.

Ervin, who has written a book, "Open Target: Where America Is
Vulnerable to Attack [1]," said terrorists are keenly aware of where
the country's weaknesses are and will work to take advantage of those

He referred to one IG report that stated DHS wireless networks were
largely unsecured. If the agency isn't addressing issues as seemingly
simple as securing wireless, what else is not getting done? he asked.

Ervin offered a somewhat damning view of the efforts to secure the
country. He said the United States is safer today than it was before
the 2001 terrorist attacks, but the real question that needs to be
asked is whether the country is as secure as it should be and as it
needs to be.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1403972885/c4iorg

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