Risk
3/9/2009
06:29 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
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
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7407
Published: 2014-10-22
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the MRBS module for Drupal allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of unspecified victims via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3675
Published: 2014-10-22
Shim allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted DHCPv6 packet.

CVE-2014-3676
Published: 2014-10-22
Heap-based buffer overflow in Shim allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted IPv6 address, related to the "tftp:// DHCPv6 boot option."

CVE-2014-3677
Published: 2014-10-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Shim might allow attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted MOK list, which triggers memory corruption.

CVE-2014-4448
Published: 2014-10-22
House Arrest in Apple iOS before 8.1 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information from a Documents directory by obtaining this UID.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.