[ISN] NIPC chief Ron Dick to retire

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Dec 10 2002 - 00:58:39 PST

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    DECEMBER 09, 2002
    WASHINGTON -- Ron Dick, the director of the FBI's National
    Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), the cyberthreat and warning
    arm of the bureau, plans to retire this month, bringing to a close a
    25-year career in law enforcement.
    Dick, who took the helm of the NIPC in March 2001 during one of the
    most tumultuous times in the agency's brief history, is credited with
    helping the NIPC define its role and mission within a growing and
    complicated federal cybsersecurity bureaucracy and amid incessant
    assaults from an army of critics who often took aim at what they saw
    as a lack of strategic analysis coming out of the agency.
    Navy Rear Adm. James Plehal, the NIPC's deputy director, will take
    over as acting director until March 1, 2003, when the agency is
    expected to be absorbed into the Homeland Security Department.
    "Ron gets an A on the enforcement side [for] finding and prosecuting
    criminals all over the world, including the Leaves worm creator to the
    Melissa virus creator to the 'I Love You' creator," said Alan Paller,
    director of research at the Bethesda, Md.-based SANS Institute.  
    "Overall, I'd say he made a substantial difference in fighting
    Harris Miller, president of the Arlington, Va.-based Information
    Technology Association of America called Dick an "effective" leader.
    "He has increased the coordination among the government organizations
    involved and has been tireless in his efforts to reach out to the
    private sector to increase information flow between the private and
    public sector on cybersecurity risks and cyberterror threats," said
    Dick is also credited with helping to increase and improve the NIPC's
    analysis capabilities, bringing in the likes of Bob Gerber, a career
    CIA officer, to serve as the NIPC's chief of analysis and warning;  
    Leslie Wiser, a new watch chief recently hired away from the NSA who
    was also the FBI agent responsible for nabbing CIA spy Aldrich Ames;  
    and a Secret Service agent to serve as a liaison between the NIPC and
    that agency.
    In one of his first steps toward demonstrating a coordinated federal
    approach to cybersecurity, Dick publicly introduced the Cyber Incident
    Coordination Group (CICG), which consists of select cyberintelligence
    experts from the CIA, the National Security Council, the Critical
    Infrastructure Assurance Office and the FBI. The CICG was formed late
    last year and conducts virtual meetings to coordinate responses to
    cyberincidents that may pose a risk to national security.
    However, one of Dick's biggest challenges during his tenure came in
    July 2001. That was when the Code Red worm began its rampage through
    the Internet. Coming as it did on the heels of a series of critical
    reports from the General Accounting Office on the NIPC's performance,
    Code Red was in many ways an important test of Dick's leadership
    "Everybody issued warnings, and yet we didn't reach a significant
    number of people who utilize the software," he said in an interview in
    his office at the height of the Code Red crisis.
    "When I got here, we were basically a start-up," Dick said during that
    2001 interview. "There wasn't a staff here, there weren't facilities
    here and no dedicated source of funding. We basically had to build
    those capabilities from the ground up. It takes time."
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