Monday, October 05, 2009

I, Cringely: The Cybersecurity Myth

So this is the wrong approach entirely. It won’t work, the DHS probably knows it won’t work (if they don’t know that, well God help us all) but they see it as better than nothing.

Then God help us all. I seriously doubt they know how ridiculous that 1000 number sounds or what a security expert is.

We are at the mercy of ignoramuses, and that is true (regardless of party affiliation) with each new Federal pronouncement on the subject (Network Neutrality fits into the mold as well).

These people are “true believers” regardless of whether they support limited government or an ever expanding one.

Of course if you want to posit that those at the top are fully aware of the situations and are simply putting on a show to retain their safe, well paying jobs** at our and our children’s expense while accomplishing nothing of true value, then I’d say the situation is far far worse.

** not to mention creating up to 1000 new ones for family and friends.

And from the link CNN article:

Department officials could not say precisely how many cyberexperts now work at DHS and its various component agencies such as the Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Napolitano said she doubts it will be necessary to fill all 1,000 of the authorized positions, but she is focused on making DHS a "world-class cyberorganization."

I'm watching the gravitas bleed out of this administration at an alarming rate. Que episodes of the keystone Cops.

At least this Janet hasn't ordered the fire-storming of any fringe religious groups. Yet.

Sounds like 2% unemployment in the DC area is safe though. I'm sure the nation appreciates this.

Oh, then there's this:

The Department of Homeland Security today appointed a senior Microsoft Corp. executive to head a section charged with protecting the federal government's computer networks from cyber attacks.

Still, critics say DHS cyber efforts have been characterized by inefficiency and leadership failures. Amit Yoran, a former cybersecurity czar at DHS before he left the department in 2004 after little more than a year on the job, said Reitinger has some tough work ahead of him.

Yoran cited as an example the current status of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). Widely considered one of the most effective cyber components of DHS, Yoran said US-CERT has been ripped apart by years of political infighting and political stovepipes.

Oh, no business as usual there eh?

Don't miss the irony of hiring a former Microsoft employee (with vested options perhaps?) to look over security issues for a federal bureaucracy plagued with improperly installed and maintained Windows systems.

In congressional testimony his predecessor mentioned Windows issues multiple times. Maybe that's why he was compelled to leave. In any even all our federally installed malware will have nice generic designations now I'm sure. We don't want to hurt any company's feelings after all.

Finally, apropos of nothing other than federal incompetence in general:

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