http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,43064,00.html by Declan McCullagh 2:00 a.m. Apr. 14, 2001 PDT WASHINGTON -- About the only thing that worries Washington bureaucrats more than the Chinese government, it seems, is malicious hackers. President Bush's proposed budget sent to Congress this week asks that "additional resources" be given to the FBI for fighting computer crime. The White House sees the cash going to "prosecutorial assistance for all terrorist incidents, including cyber-terrorism, serving as a focal point for such efforts at all levels of law enforcement." Let's not forget reports this week that suggested Chinese partisans have been trying to break into U.S. government and corporate websites. All this comes as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is warning about a "cyber Pearl Harbor." Cautioned the Republican stalwart earlier this month: "We have never seen a cyber attack of national proportions resulting in mass disruption of our society and our lives, but such a scenario is not unprecedented." It's not a partisan issue: Many Democrats feel the same way. The first official to talk about a "Cyber Pearl Harbor" was Jamie Gorelick, deputy attorney general under President Clinton. Gorelick said in 1996 that "a cyber threat can disrupt the provision of services and disrupt our society, disable our society even more so than can a well-placed bomb." In Washington, one can gauge how seriously officialdom takes an issue by the amount of cash dispensed. And even beyond the budget, there's ample evidence the feds aren't joking around. Take Friday's announcement from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The group is going to be writing checks to nearly anyone who comes up with some good research ideas on the topic. "While the United States Government has sponsored considerable research in the area of computer security for military and intelligence systems, there has been insufficient research to address the protection of private, commercial and civil infrastructures," the NIST said in a statement. NIST expects grants -- which can go to universities or for-profit companies -- to range between $100,000 and $1,000,000. The deadline is June 15, 2001. ISN is hosted by SecurityFocus.com --- To unsubscribe email LISTSERVat_private with a message body of "SIGNOFF ISN".
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