I've written before about Cyber Security, Internet Security, what-you-will and have been professional interesting in the issue for a long, long time. Eventhough I'm an English Major, I've been able to teach myself enough about how the internet works to believe "internet security" is a non sequitur. Or, as Mr. Scott McNealy once said, "It doesn't exist." We can always depend on Mr. McNealy to put things plain.
Now, some years after the popularization of the internet, we find all types and manners of things attached to it, including some important parts of our national infrastructure such as the national electric grid and assorted nuclear power plants, air traffic control systems and, oh, just let your imagination run wild.
There's been a spate of recent articles and news about this issue. Most recently, today, the Wall Street Journal reports that Raytheon has won an enormous contract to help protect the United States of America from a cyber attack.
The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.
Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million, said a person familiar with the project.
The NSA years ago began a small-scale effort to address this problem code-named April Strawberry, the military official said. The program researched vulnerabilities in computer networks running critical infrastructure and sought ways to close security holes.
April Strawberry? This is only one of the many reasons I'm not employed by the U.S. intelligence community.
In addition to the Wall Street Journal story, I can recommend the following:
The Economist, CyberWar
Intelligence Squared: The Cyber War Threat Has Been Grossly Exaggerated. This program is especially good as it features Jonathan Zitrain, Marc Rotenberg, Bruce Schneier and Mike McConnell and these are people who know what they're talking about.