The US Cyber Guard Begins

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Joel Harding

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According to a Reuters report, US cyber defenses will now include more than just the US Cyber Command and the Department of Homeland Security.  Eventually it may include somewhere around 8,000 contractors, mostly defense contractors.

These two paragraphs illustrate the reciprocal relationship between the US government and cooperating contractors:

The Pentagon on Friday invited all of its eligible contractors to join the voluntary pact aimed at fighting what U.S. officials have described as growing cyber threats that allegedly originate, above all, in Russia and China.

The Defense Department will provide intelligence-derived information on malicious Internet traffic to the companies; the firms are to share information on any cyber penetrations of their networks with the government.

The proof of concept for this program began in 2007 and is now being expanded, initially with 1,000 contractors, and then growing.

Three ISPs, believed to be Verizon, AT&T Inc and CenturyLink Inc, are providing “filtering and remediation”, essential services to intelligence sharing.

Of course the conspiracy theorists will begin screaming “big brother” in…   3, 2, 1…   but I would rather have our government try to protect us from future cyber attacks which could be devastating to our economy, our way of life, to almost the entire world as we have become used to it.

I heartily applaud this first effort to share some of the work.

Australian Cyber Expert Proposes Cyber Militia

On 16 May 2012 at the AusCERT conference, held near Brisbane Australia, Bill Caelli proposed deputizing individuals and groups to assist overwhelmed law enforcement cybersecurity officials.

His suggestion hearkens back to the days before law was established both in Australia and the United States.

It rings as true in Australia during their colonial days as during a similar period, in the 1800s, in the United States, where it was called the Wild West.

Professor Emeritus William J (Bill) Caelli has a very impressive series of titles (Senior Consultant and Director of International Information Security Consultants and Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor in the Information Security Institute at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia).

Caelli also suggested that ISPs might play the role of Bailiff or even Sheriff.

For years members of the cyber world have toyed around with the phrase “Wild West”, many in authority resisting use of that term because we have laws for many situations.

The problems of attribution, the problems of pockets of lawlessness and the unknown nature of weapons in cyberspace make the analogy ring true.

Cross-posted from To Inform is to Influence

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