From the Washington Post story:
“The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or CERT, established in 2003 to coordinate national cyber-defense efforts, is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tasked with “analyzing and reducing cyber threats and vulnerabilities, disseminating cyber threat warning information, and coordinating cyber incident response activities.”
A…” report released last week by the DHS inspector general reveals an institution that is floundering. CERT is understaffed, with no capacity to do anything other than process data for anomalies and react to breaches after the fact with fixes it has no authority to enforce. Among the report’s findings: Of the 98 positions authorized for the emergency readiness team, only 45 are filled, forcing it to rely on outside contractors to perform even basic functions such as updating operating procedures.”
Please read the whole article. We are preoccupied with bomb, airline and building threats without being sensitive to the vulnerabilities of all the computer chips, etc. that run them and in many places, interconnect them such that a problem in one place can migrate to and through other places. Your bank, your credit and debit cards, your automatic payment mechanisms to large vendors, to suggest an easy one, are likely connected. Computers control their interactions. What happens to your money (and the other depositors’) if a clever hacker finds a way to invade these linkages to personal or political profit? Read the whole piece:
In this case, but not only this case, we have a threat to our national security that may never involve an attention-grabbing photo, bloodshed, or any other than individual perceptions broadly diffused and we seem unable to become energized to take effective united action to protect ourselves. Is it just human nature to be this way or is it something special about Americans?