Is the US Cybersafe? Probably Not!

04 May 2009 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

After a three-year study a panel (of former military leaders and IT professionals) from the National Academy of Sciences reported that the US has no clear military policies for cyberattacks. Notwithstanding a recent blog about the NSA exceeding its authority to intercept email, we are not much safer from cyberattacks. One would have to live under a rock to have not noticed the significant number of system breaches. As a matter of fact as pointed out in other blogs, LexisNexis just warned 32,000 individuals about data breaches that personal information may have been improperly accessed in a credit card scheme as far back as 2004.

Proposed Federal Legislation to Update FISMA

The US Congress will be considering an update to FISMA (the Federal Information Security Management Act) called the "U.S. Information and Communications Enhancement Act of 2009." This proposed Act will create hacker squads to test defenses of agency networks, and the agencies will be required to show how they can effectively detect and respond to cyberattacks. Currently there are only about five federal agencies who conduct this type of testing.

Cyberattacks From Within

A former Sysadmin (System Administrator) recently pled guilty to a charge of cyber extortion by threatening his former employer and faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. After the Sysadmin was terminated last year he complained about the severance and threatened to cause extensive damage to his former employer’s systems. Apparently he left many back doors in the systems he managed that allowed him to enter and cause havoc, which of course as a Sysadmin he had the authority to do so.

How Safe Should We Feel?

Hopefully the US should get control of cyber security because it seems patently obvious to the most casual observer that at this time the US is extremely vulnerable. Maybe spending the US should $19 Billion on cyber security rather than on Electronic Health Records (EHR) since the US is so dependent on the use of the Internet today, and the US’s dependence on the Internet will only increase. Cyber safety is more critical than EHR.
 

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Authors

Related Services

Insights