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10 April 2008, 15:28

US Secretary for Homeland Security warns of cyber attacks

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The US Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, has warned of serious dangers from cyberspace. Speaking at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco of risks to the financial system and to the government, he compared the possible effects of cyber-attacks with the attacks of 11 September 2001. He suggested that protecting the national IT infrastructure should not be done by government alone, and reiterated calls for cooperation between the private and public sectors. Only networked protection was appropriate in order to withstand networked attackers, he claimed.

President Bush issued a directive in January 2008 formalising several projects for improving the protection of the IT infrastructure. These included the employment of additional personnel for the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) and the expansion of the Einstein Project, as revealed in a presentation by the Department of Homeland Security. Secretary Chertoff made reference to these and to further plans, drawing an analogy with the Manhattan project for the development of the atom bomb during the second world war. He believes that as many attacks as possible should be recognised before they do their damage and that the vulnerabilities of the infrastructure should be reduced.


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