U.S. government security

China-Based Attacks Targeted Gmail of U.S. Officials, Activists

Search giant Google has again sounded the alarm about sophisticated attacks emanating from mainland China and targeting officials within the U.S. and Asian governments, as well as human rights activists and journalists. Samples of some of the messages posted on an independent researcher’s blog indicate that personnel in the Department of State as well as the Department of Defense were targeted.

Inspector General Talks Limitations of US-CERT

DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner spoke before the House Committee on Homeland Security yesterday and detailed his office’s latest report on the progress US-CERT has made in securing cyberspace and included noting limitations with enforcement, staffing and strategic planning. Read the full article. [Infosecurity]

An internal review has found that the Justice Department has not done enough to fight identity theft, the fastest-growing crime in the country. Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine says in a report that the department is falling short in efforts to combat identity theft, and that the issue has faded as a priority over the past two years. Read the full article. [Forbes]

Howard Schmidt, the new cybersecurity czar for the Obama
administration, has a short answer for the drumbeat of rhetoric
claiming the United States is caught up in a cyberwar that it is losing.

“There is no cyberwar,” Schmidt said. “I think that is a terrible metaphor and I think that is a terrible
concept,” Schmidt said. “There are no winners in that environment.” Read the full article. [Wired]

The nation’s new cybersecurity czar in a Town
Hall meeting session here today mapped out his top priorities in the
post and provided a glimpse at how the Obama administration may handle
security issues with other countries. National cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt also announced that the White House was
releasing an unclassified version of its plan for securing government
and private industry networks. Read the full article. [Dark Reading]

The Obama administration gets a chance to demonstrate its cybersecurity leadership as three top guns from the executive branch – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt and FBI Director Robert Mueller – address the RSA conference in San Francisco next week. Read the full article. [GovInfoSecurity.com]

The Defense Department will not meet its end-of-the-year deadline for
removing Social Security numbers from military ID cards as they are issued or
renewed, the Pentagon has confirmed. Read the full article. [Stars & Stripes]

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