Risk
3/9/2009
06:29 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

U.S. Cybersecurity Director Resigns, Blames NSA

Rod Beckstrom criticizes the NSA's dominance of most of the nation's cybersecurity initiatives.

The government's director of cybersecurity resigned Thursday, warning that the National Security Agency's control of national cybersecurity efforts poses a potential threat to U.S. democratic processes.

Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, was appointed in March 2008 to run the National Cybersecurity Center, a group created to oversee government cybersecurity efforts.

In his March 5 resignation letter, a copy of which was published by The Wall Street Journal, Beckstrom criticized the NSA's dominance of most of the nation's cybersecurity initiatives.

"While acknowledging the critical important of the NSA to our intelligence efforts, I believe this is a bad strategy on multiple grounds," he wrote. "The intelligence culture is very different than a network operations or security culture. In addition, the threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top-level government network security and monitoring are handled by one organization (either directly or indirectly)."

Beckstrom said he supports a model that allows for a civilian government cybersecurity capability operating in partnership with the NSA, but not controlled by it. He also made it clear that he was unhappy with the lack of funding at the NCSC, noting that the organization "received only five weeks of funding, due to various roadblocks engineered with the [Department of Homeland Security] and by the Office of Management and Budget."

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science, and Technology, expressed regret over Beckstrom's departure and blamed the Bush administration for hobbling Beckstrom's efforts by withholding funds.

"Mr. Beckstrom's departure is a huge loss for the department," Clarke said in an e-mailed statement. "If the last administration had provided him with the appropriate resources and staffing, he would have been extremely effective."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2188
Published: 2015-02-26
The Authentication Proxy feature in Cisco IOS does not properly handle invalid AAA return codes from RADIUS and TACACS+ servers, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication in opportunistic circumstances via a connection attempt that triggers an invalid code, as demonstrated by a connecti...

CVE-2015-0594
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the help pages in Cisco Common Services, as used in Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution (LMS) and Cisco Security Manager, allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug IDs CSCuq54654 and CSCun1...

CVE-2015-0632
Published: 2015-02-26
Race condition in the Neighbor Discovery (ND) protocol implementation in Cisco IOS and IOS XE allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via a flood of Router Solicitation messages on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCuo67770.

CVE-2015-0651
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the web GUI in Cisco Application Networking Manager (ANM), and Device Manager (DM) on Cisco 4710 Application Control Engine (ACE) appliances, allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users, aka Bug ID CSCuo99753.

CVE-2015-0882
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in zencart-ja (aka Zen Cart Japanese edition) 1.3 jp through 1.3.0.2 jp8 and 1.5 ja through 1.5.1 ja allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted parameter, related to admin/includes/init_includes/init_sanitize.php an...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.