[ISN] U.S. Congress Attacks Cyber Defense Funds

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Jun 17 1998 - 17:08:25 PDT

  • Next message: mea culpa: "Re: [ISN] E-mail can have dire consequences"

    Forwarded From: "Prosser, Mike" <Mike_Prosserat_private>
    [ya'all can draw you own conclusions...I have mine!  -Mike]
    [WS]  Defense News June 15-21, 1998 U.S. Congress Attacks Cyber Defense
    Funds By George I. Seffers Defense News Staff Writer WASHINGTON--
    Congress is taking millions of dollars from the war chest intended to
    protect critical U.S. infrastructure from potentially crippling cyber
    attacks, according to Defense Department and White House sources. The
    House Appropriations Committee deleted the entire $69.9 million the
    Defense Department had requested for infrastructure protection in its
    1999 budget. That funding should be restored, Linton Wells, principal
    deputy for the assistant secretary of defense for command, control,
    communications and intelligence, told lawmakers at a June 11 hearing
    here on protecting national infrastructures-- telecommunications,
    banking and finance, energy, transportation, and essential government
    services-- from cyber attack. The hearing was held jointly by the House
    National Security military procurement and the military research and
    development subcommittees. A source with the Critical Infrastructure
    Assurance Office told Defense News June 11 that the Senate Armed
    Services Committee had taken away $30 million of the Defense
    Department's infrastructure protection funds, even though the House
    National Security Committee left the funds untouched. The differences
    will have to hammered out when the congressional committees go into
    conference later this year. But the source said he fears the trend will
    continue. "This has proven to be a tempting target for Congress because
    there is no program yet," he said "What worries me is that we're so
    stretched thin with personnel, we can't get anyone over there to defend
    it." Having Congress strip away money makes the already difficult goal
    of protecting infrastructure from cyber attack even tougher, a Pentagon
    source said June 11. Cyber attacks would include attempts by hackers,
    foreign governments or terrorists to break into a computer system and
    disrupt its functions. All critical U.S. infrastructures are becoming
    increasingly reliant on computers and, therefore, are increasingly
    vulnerable. "There are a lot of things that will stand in our way as it
    is. It's a laudable goal, and we will do our best, but a goal without
    funding is fantasy," the Pentagon source said. The amount of money
    available to fund critical infrastructure protection is hard to
    determine, in part because it only became a bona fide government effort
    May 22, when President Bill Clinton signed two directives. In the
    directives, Clinton created the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office
    within the Department of Commerce, and set a five-year goal for being
    able to protect critical infrastructures. In addition, the president
    created:  * A national center to warn of, and respond to, cyber and
    physical attacks on the infrastructures. * A national coordinator office
    to focus on critical infrastructure protection, foreign terrorism and
    domestic weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons. * A
    National Infrastructure Protection Center within the FBI to promote
    information sharing between various departments, agencies and the
    private sector and to coordinate a response to hacker attacks,
    investigate threats and monitor reconstitution efforts. * An Information
    Sharing and Analysis Center drawn from state and local officials to
    provide guidance to the policy formulation of a national plan. A figure
    for the exact amount to fund critical infrastructure protection is not
    available, Gordy Bendick, spokesman for the Critical Infrastructure
    Assurance Office, said June 11. In part, this is because the effort has
    been under way a few weeks, and intelligence agencies, which do not
    often reveal budget figures, are donating some of the money, he said.
    The Commerce Department is expected to dedicate about $20 million in
    1999, the Justice Department about $70 million. The Transportation
    Department also is expected to contribute, but Bendick said he does not
    yet know how much. Jeffrey Hunker, director of the Critical
    Infrastructure Assurance Office, said it is not now necessary for the
    White House to ask Congress for more money. But he said he may request
    more in the 2000 budget. "It's very important [that] before we start
    throwing money at this problem, we understand specifically where the
    money is already being spent, where it isn't being spent and how we
    avoid duplicative programs," Hunker said. Despite the challenges, Hunker
    told Defense News he is confident the White House will meet its
    five-year goal. The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure
    Protection last year recommended an additional $2 billion be invested in
    research and development alone, a recommendation ignored by Clinton May
    22 when he signed the two directives. 		
    Subscribe: mail majordomoat_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Repent Security Incorporated [www.repsec.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 12:56:13 PDT