Wednesday, February 5, 2014

U.S. Government Fails Security Review of Cybersystems

In a report issued yesterday by the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), numerous branches of the Federal Government were cited for their failures to adhere to basic concepts of cybersecurity. One of the most exgregious offenders mentioned was the Department of Homeland Security, which was found to have a bevy of its own problems despite being in charge of the cybersecurity for the entire Federal Government. Specifically mentioned was last February's hacking attack on FEMA's Emergency Alert System which resulted in a "Zombie Attack" warning being broadcast in the states of Michigan, Montana, and North Dakota. More:

(Washington Post, February 3, 2014)

(Minority Staff, HSGAC, February 4, 2014)

Comment: As noted in the report's title, cybersecurity and critical infrastructure are inherently intertwined. Vulnerabilities in cyber, lead to vulnerabilities and potential harm to critical infrastructure. However, the point often missed by many who mull this issue is that beyond systems traditionally thought of as critical infrastructure such as the electrical grid, tele-com systems, oil and gas pipelines, and transportation networks, there's another critical infrastructure that makes these other systems functionally possible in a highly developed and interwoven society - geospatial infrastructure. Chinese government hackers have figured this out, too bad the U.S. Government hasn't. For more on that issue, see:

(EPC Updates, February 20, 2013)

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