President Obama wants to appoint a Cyber Tsar.
There are major issues with the Internet and the proposed build-out of networks to support everything from the Power Grid to the National First Responders (Fire/Police/Rescue). The issue really revolves around the fact that the core communications technology utilized in the Internet was developed at a time where Security wasn’t a driving issue – survivability in the event of nuclear attack was.
As such, the technology is inherently insecure – and the ability to secure it is an ever steeper mountain as the number of users of the technology increases.
Most recently, Chinese Government spies cracked into the Joint Fighter program, and possibly stole the plans to one of our most advanced weapons systems. Personal information on the Internet might as well be public, as even moderately sophisticated hackers are able to defeat many of the “security” systems employed by commercial entities.
As the country moves along the path of interconnecting more and more functionality across the Internet, the risk of Cyber-terrorism rises exponentially. The ability to remotely shut down significant portions of the electric grid. The ability to shut down communications between various Law Enforcement Agencies. The ability to shut down the telephone system. All of these are capabilities gained by Cyber-Terrorists as these systems are migrated onto the Internet infrastructure.
Instead of getting harder to attack systems, when you tie them all to one technology and infrastructure – the bar is lowered.
Be interesting if President Obama picks someone who is going to look at this with a new set of eyes – or someone who will follow the program.