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Computer insecurity: Bush must act now to guard information
Union Leader ^ | August 18 2002

Posted on 08/18/2002 7:48:49 AM PDT by 2Trievers

THE LACK of computer security in the federal government is appalling. The situation is so bad that we would be very surprised if sensitive information had not already fallen into the hands of this nation's enemies.

Inexperienced security consultants at a brand new computer consluting company were able this summer to access defense department computers and obtain information about radio encryption, aircraft targeting techniques, personnel records, bank routing numbers and military maneuvers, The Washington Post reported Friday.

"We were shocked and almost scared by how easy it was to get in," one of the consultants said. "It's like coming across the Pentagon and seeing a door open with no one guarding it."

Also reported last week was an audit revealing that the IRS has lost track of "an unknown number" of laptop computers loaned to volunteers who assist people with their tax returns. The news follows the release of previous audits which showed that the Justice Department had lost 400 computers, the Customs Service had lost 2,000 and the IRS couldn't locate 2,300.

The Bush administration had better get on this, and quick. It is not a problem that can be put off or ignored. If inexperienced consultants armed only with over-the-counter software can access sensitive military information, imagine what information trained, experienced hackers can, and almost certainly have, found.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: internetsecurity

1 posted on 08/18/2002 7:48:49 AM PDT by 2Trievers
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To: 2Trievers
Outsource the Pentagon.
2 posted on 08/18/2002 10:00:48 AM PDT by AM2000
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To: 2Trievers
Clinton makes last-minute cybersecurity appointments

JAN 22, 2001

In what is being described as an eleventh-hour move designed to deliver one last political dig at President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton on Friday appointed 21 people to advise his successor on how best to protect the nation's critical information infrastructure from attack.

Some experts view the last-minute appointments to the National Infrastructure Assurance Council (NIAC), including some former Clinton aides and Democratic Party financial backers, as a move that unnecessarily politicizes a vital government effort to encourage private-sector cooperation on critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity.

"There is no question that establishing a NIAC is important," said John Tritak, director of the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, an agency under the Commerce Department. "The question is whether it was appropriate [for Clinton] to appoint advisers for his successor," said Tritak. "It has nothing to do with the quality of the people on the list. But it's like picking the other guy's team and it unnecessarily raises the question of politicization. I personally think it was a mistake."

.....Some of Clinton's appointments to the NIAC include Wellington E. Webb, the Democratic mayor of Denver, Lawrence P. LaRocco, a lobbyist and former Democratic congressman from Idaho, and Jack Quinn, the co-chairman of Chevy Chase, Md.-based consulting firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates LLC, who once served as counsel to Clinton and chief of staff to former vice president Al Gore.

One morning at the nub end of Bill Clinton's presidency, Clinton chief of staff John Podesta walked into a senior staff meeting in the Roosevelt Room waving a copy of USA Today. Holding the paper aloft, Podesta read the headline out loud, "Clinton actions annoy Bush." The article detailed the new rules and Executive Orders the outgoing President was issuing in his final days, actions aimed in equal measure at locking in Clinton's legacy (in areas like environmental protection) and bedeviling his successor. "What's Bush so annoyed about?" Podesta asked with a devilish smile. "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done."

"We laid a few traps," chirps a happy Clinton aide.....

3 posted on 08/18/2002 5:54:25 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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