Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk@private> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7600-2003Oct23.html By Brian Krebs washingtonpost.com Staff Writer Thursday, October 23, 2003 Consumers who ignore advice about how to protect themselves against hackers, viruses and fraudsters online will soon find it harder to tune out thanks to a nationwide media blitz being crafted by the Department of Homeland Security and a group of high-tech companies. The advertising campaign is designed to educate home and small business computer users about the importance of using firewalls and anti-virus software, as well as defending against online fraud. It is expected to debut next year on television and radio spots and in magazines, newspapers and movie theaters throughout the country. The $1.8 million program is the brainchild of officials at the Homeland Security Department and the National Cyber Security Alliance, a group of more than 50 technology companies including America Online, Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp. The group plans to begin producing the campaign next year with the help of celebrities and prominent spokespeople. The ads will hammer home a message that so far has eluded many computer users, said Tatiana Gau, chief trust officer at AOL. The alliance in a June study found that roughly 67 percent of high-speed Internet users do not use firewalls. More than 60 percent of those surveyed said they did not keep their anti-virus software updated against the most current viruses and worms. "This is about getting into the home of the consumer so that they can't turn a blind eye to this message anymore," she said. The campaign is producing the messages with the aid of the Ad Council, which uses $60 million a year in donated advertising space to conduct public service campaigns. So far, the alliance has raised more than $500,000. It announced today that the Homeland Security Department will match contributions up to $650,000. The matching funds will come from the department's 2004 budget. Orson Swindle, a Republican commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission, said the large number of people affected by online fraud and the recent spate of viruses and worms show just how much education needs to be done. "It's going to take a lot of repetition to get this message across," Swindle said. "We've got to keep hitting them so that we capture their attention at some time." The consumer education campaign is a key pillar of the Bush administration's cybersecurity strategy, a document released in February that favors industry-government initiatives over federal regulation as the best way to shield businesses and consumers from cyber threats. Mike Jacobs, former deputy director for information systems security at the National Security Agency, said the program should help the Homeland Security Department blunt criticism that its plan would do little to protect the individual Web users from hackers and viruses. "The best the department can do is keep consumers reasonably well informed about threats and risks, both online and offline, and DHS would be in a position to command attention simply because of where they sit and what their perceived role is," Jacobs said. The ads will steer consumers to the alliance's Web site which hosts a variety of resources to help consumers protect themselves online. Richard Clarke, the White House's former cybersecurity adviser, applauded the effort, saying more people need to understand that poor security affects everyone because hackers frequently take control over poorly secured computers to launch attacks against other systems. "Too many people have DSL and cable connections who don't have firewalls installed or don't have current anti-virus because they thought it came with the computer," Clarke said. "These people are putting everyone at risk." *==============================================================* "Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC ---------------------------------------------------------------- C4I.org - Computer Security, & Intelligence - http://www.c4i.org ================================================================ Help C4I.org with a donation: http://www.c4i.org/contribute.html *==============================================================* - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomo@private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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