Is Cyberterrorism Being Thwarted?

    Date03 Dec 2004
    Posted ByJoe Shakespeare
    Recently, there's been increased criticism of the federal government's efforts to secure the Internet. The September departure of Amit Yoran from the Department of Homeland Security was widely cited as indicative of problems that run deep, not just through DHS, but the entire government. While everyone agrees there's much work to do, it's important to recognize the accomplishments of the past few years.

    The al Qaeda attack in 2001 was clearly a turning point. Immediately afterward, government and industry officials worked side by side to restore services to lower Manhattan and the Pentagon. Across the nation, industry leaders re-examined business-continuity plans while governments began the arduous task of building protective measures into both physical and Web infrastructures.

    While the government was creating the DHS, computer-security experts began drafting a strategy for securing the nation's computer networks. Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division, formed in 2003, has collaborated with industry, academia, and the international community to improve cybersecurity. It created the US-CERT in 2003 to act as our nation's single point of contact for Internet-security readiness. Network administrators subscribe to this warning system and use it together with private services to understand new Internet threats and vulnerabilities, such as viruses, worms, and weaknesses in popular software. Also, the FBI and the Secret Service have formed cybercrime investigative teams that have bagged numerous fraudsters and thieves in the private sector.

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