Government May Be Too Slow To Tackle Cyber Threats Says Outgoing NSA Attorney

The Washington Post is reporting …

Outgoing National Security Agency General Counsel Glenn Gerstell says hacking threats from China and other U.S. adversaries pose as great a challenge to the country as climate change.  And the government and private sector risk moving too slowly to respond.

Outgoing National Security Agency General Counsel Glenn Gerstell says hacking threats from China and other U.S. adversaries pose as great a challenge to the country as climate change.  And the government and private sector risk moving too slowly to respond.

Gerstell’s alarm bell comes after years during which the U.S. has failed to stem the tide of significant hacks from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea — and as a wave of new innovations such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and 5G telecommunications networks could radically expand the damage adversaries can do in cyberspace.

Gerstell says that we need to update laws, many of which date to the 1980s and before and create additional regulation of tech firms (like the FBI wanting a back door to all encryption so they can snoop at will).

He is also suggesting that the government needs to consolidate responsibility which is now spread across the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and numerous other agencies (I think I will pop some popcorn when that ox gets gored – no one wants their agency to lose power).

He also thinks the NSA is going to have to be far more public about its work on both the offense and defense side.  Anne Neuberger who heads up the newly recreated cybersecurity division (it replaces the Information Assurance Division which was shut down a few years ago in a really misguided effort to shake up the bureaucracy) seems to already be making a difference in this department, starting with the announcement of the Microsoft Crypto API bug  last month.

I do think it is going to be real challenge for the government to move fast enough without doing a lot of stupid stuff and/or having a significant negative effect on the economy.

This administration does not seem to have a good handle on dealing with the problem.  This is not limited to one party.  After all, Congress is mostly made up of lawyers and we know how well many lawyers understand technology.

The Senate just released a report that said that the Obama administration was woefully unprepared for dealing with Russia’s hacking of the 2016 elections.  This administration has been in denial that Russia did hack the elections, saying maybe it was a 400 pound person in their parent’s basement.

None of this makes me super optimistic that the government will fix this problem any time soon.

 

 

 

 

 

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