[ISN] Re: White House asks companies for help with new government computer network

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Oct 17 2001 - 01:07:27 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] GOVNET Wont Solve U.S. Government Internet Security Concerns"

    Forwarded from: Felix von Leitner <leitnerat_private>
    Thus spake InfoSec News (isnat_private):
    > http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/svfront/042802.htm
    > Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001 
    > WASHINGTON (AP) -- After one day on the job, the president's
    > cyberspace security adviser asked computer companies Wednesday to
    > help design a new secure telecommunications network for government
    > use.
    > Richard Clarke said he wants the network, called GOVNET, to be
    > separate from the Internet to keep it safe from hackers or
    > terrorists.
      a. the seperation will not help against a terrorist with a bomb.  
         In the contrary, businesses lose real money if their fat pipes
         are severed, so they fix it real fast.  Government is known to
         not be able to do _anything_ fast.
      b. they don't even consider using secure systems.  They have
         accepted as fact that computers crash and are insecure.  
         Too much Windows exposure?
    > Government agencies would use GOVNET for voice and data
    > communications, and possibly for videoconferences presidential
    > advisers have used since the Sept. 11 attacks.
    If I was a US citizen I would be concerned that they waste money on
    meta-administration instead of actually doing something.  The only
    action I have seen so far is "bomb the Afghans, although we don't have
    any proof" and "make hacking as severe a crime as first degree
    murder". Great work, guys.  I would be really angry to see my tax
    money being used against me.
    > The nation's counterterrorism chief for more than a decade, Clarke
    > has pressed private industry to increase computer security by
    > improving its own products.
    If he actually wanted to do something about software quality, he would
    simply make it easy for customers to file lawsuits against software
    makers for bad products.  If Microsoft owed me a doller for every time
    I had to reboot Windoze for no good reason they would have made a
    In times where McDonald's is sued for hot coffee, why isn't Microsoft
    sued for all the damage they cause by selling software that is
    "designed for virus replication"?
    All this insecurity propaganda is just that: propaganda.  The
    government wants to raise money for its bureaucracy, and that works
    best if you hype your job as if it were the only way to avoid or get
    out of a national crisis.
    > ``We'll be working even more with them in the future, to secure
    > our cyberspace from a range of possible threats, from hackers to
    > criminals to terrorist groups, to foreign nations, which might use
    > cyber war against us,'' Clarke said Tuesday when his new job was
    > announced.
    Now _this_ concidence is almost spooky! ;)
    > From his previous post at the National Security Council, he warned
    > that America's fledgling Internet was vulnerable to a ``digital
    > Pearl Harbor'' that could badly disrupt communications.
    Oh yeah, a national catastrophy will happen unless you pump your money
    my way...
    > Those warnings were echoed Wednesday on Capitol Hill, where
    > experts told Congress that part of the problem is that current
    > computer systems were not designed with security in mind.
    chant with me: "pump all your money to me"
    > Recent independent reviews have shown computers at many government
    > agencies are open to a hacker attack. In theory, GOVNET would be
    > impervious to outside assault -- particularly from lone young
    > hackers, the most common Internet attacker.
    Wow, now this is obviously the result of long-winded in-depth
    analysis, like a walk to the next b-movie video rental.
    > The GOVNET proposal could cost billions of dollars.
    No, really?!  But they are worth it, because there would be a national
    catastrophy otherwise!1!!
    > The government wants the network up and running six months after a
    > contractor is picked, although there is no deadline for the
    > contract to be awarded.
    Ah, a contractor.  So this is actually a subsidy for the weak US
    network companies.
    I wonder if they will pick Nortel or Cisco...
    > ``A system like this can help us break through the cloud of the
    > Internet and provide a separate network where the integrity of
    > government information can be protected,'' said Sen. Robert
    > Bennett, R-Utah, a leader on computer security issues.
    Hahaha, man, that sentence sure had leadership oozing out of every
    pore! This guy is obviously a technician who really knows what he is
    talking about.
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