Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Analysts: Obama's Much-Touted New Cybersecurity Plan Is Full of Holes

Stuart Fox writes on PopSci.com:

After a year of alarm and hype, cybersecurity has finally made it to the top of the Obama administration's to-do list. President Obama, introducing a new report on U.S. cybersecurity in a speech on Friday, said cybersecurity represents "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation." The White House has even produced a web video and blog to help sell the new initiative.

However, while many experts applaud this new focus as vital to protecting critical U.S. infrastructure and economic institutions, some analysts have noted that the report fails to answer many key questions, contains a number of inconsistencies and possible inaccuracies, and generally exaggerates the threat to the country.

"It's a plan for a plan," said O. Sami Saydjari, chairman of the Professionals for Cyber Defense. "Given how bureaucracies work, they tend not to come up with bold plans in 60 days. The hard problems have yet to be grappled with."

Other analysts have gone much further in their criticisms of the report. George Smith, a senior fellow at Globalsecurity.org, said "it's set up to look remarkable, but it's only remarkable because it has an urban legend at the center of it." Smith was referring to a section in the report that repeats a questionable CIA claim about an Internet-based attack causing a multi-city blackout. While that may be far-fetched, online attacks has indeed played an important strategic role in recent conflicts, most notably in Russia's skirmish with Georgia in South Ossetia.

More here.


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