[ISN] Report: GPS at risk

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jan 11 2002 - 10:49:13 PST

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    By Dan Caterinicchia 
    Jan. 11, 2002
    A study released this week urges the Bush administration to take
    immediate steps to prevent terrorists from crippling the
    satellite-based Global Positioning System, a key technology in
    battlefield systems, navigation systems and other critical
    applications across government.
    The report, "Defending the American Homeland," from the Heritage
    Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, recommends President
    Bush designate GPS radio frequencies and network systems as critical
    national infrastructure, so these systems receive the same protection
    given to telecommunications, financial systems, utilities and other
    core operations of vital interest to the country.
    The report also recommends assigning responsibility for its security
    to the Department of Defense and taking immediate steps to make the
    network more secure.
    The report's other recommendations include:
    * Secure all federal networks and information systems, which would 
      require revising agencies' technology-purchasing guidelines to place 
      a premium on security, as well as exploring alternatives to the proposed 
      GovNet system, which would move critical government systems off the 
      public Internet and onto a private Internet-like network.
    * Rapidly improve information-gathering capabilities at all government 
      levels, which should include having the Office of Homeland Security 
      establish a group to develop a national strategy for gathering and 
      sharing intelligence.
    * Improve intelligence and information sharing among all government 
      levels through the creation of a federal information fusion center 
      where all intelligence data is sent and from where it is dispensed 
      on a need-to-know basis.
    * Develop a program to increase airport and seaport controls, 
      including a federal interagency center to analyze the people and 
      products entering the U.S by sea.
    * Direct the military to aid federal, state and local officials in 
      their counterterrorism efforts by identifying critical 
      infrastructure nodes, assessing security levels, and providing 
      protection for them,  as well as the redundant communications, 
      command and control systems.
    Michael Scardaville, policy analyst for homeland security at the
    Heritage Foundation and a member of the task force, said its plan is
    to promote its findings to the administration, Congress and state and
    local governments to "get as many recommendations instituted as
    Scardaville said the driving factors of all the report's
    recommendations were that they could be done "relatively quickly, at a
    reasonable cost, and without any major shake-ups." He said that adding
    GPS to the nation's critical infrastructure is a perfect example
    because it simply requires a presidential directive mandating it "and
    that is not a difficult thing to do."
    The Heritage Foundation sent copies of the report to the White House
    and some members of Congress, but has yet to receive official
    feedback, Scardaville said.
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