back to article Head fed cyberspook resigns abruptly

The head of a group that helps the federal government ward off computer attacks abruptly resigned Friday, amid a spate of high-profile assaults hitting government agencies and contractors. The departure of US Computer Emergency Readiness Team director Randy Vickers was first reported Monday by InformationWeek, which cited an …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Head's off with him!

    Well done sabu!

    Were is the anonymous icon anyway?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    It is a story I once overheard on a plane that years ago, a great bug detecting man, worked in Moscow, ridding the US embassy of Soviet bugs.

    So good was he at his job, that one Sunday, in church, in front of his wife and kids, the Russians threw a bucket load of corrosive materials into his lap as he prayed.

    He took three days to die, and it was a horrible death. RIP.

    As the man who was in charge of stopping, let's face it, we all know who they are, from hacking the kit, he was always going to be a target for an asian babe sparrow attack.

    None of the above is true, as I'm sure amanfromars will confirm. I just thought I'd set off all the conspiracy theorists, as it's a slow news day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Yeah... Right...

      The man responsible for "gettting rid" in Moscow failed in the most miserable fashion.

      Those of us who used to live behind the Iron Curtain actually know that the new US embassy in Moscow had to be built twice. It was nearly finished once and had to be demolished back to foundations. The muppets in charge of the project built it using local brick. Bad move. There was a very reasonable percentage of "funny bricks" in that as a resullt with 7+ years of projected functionality in them. I still want to know what the russians used for batteries. I suspect it was an isotope source, nothing chemical can last that long...

      The second time around the yanks shipped bricks, concrete and all building materials all the way from Western Germany. The project cost overrun was so great that it earned an honorable mentioning in the Senate appropriations committee (despite chunks of it being paid off the black budget). It was known as the "most expensive building in the world".

      So I would not be so sure about the Russians dumping a bucket of Sulphuric acid in his lap...

      The "Intelligence Community" does not like failures and all of them are bloody nasty buggers...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        probably no batteries, just more RFID

        hence passive when not being selectively painted by kilowatts of unmodulated carrier. Remember the stories of electrosensitive US embassy ppl who complained about the 'soviet microwave rays'.

        I'm guessing as I haven't seen a soviet funny brick, but there was "The Thing" that Léon Theremin cooked up...éon_Theremin

  3. Mike Powers

    Misread the title "HAND fed cyberspook". I'm all "wow, they really go all-out in their indoctrination these days..."

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Situations Vacant and Everywhere too, and thus Extremely Lucrative Posts Offering Whatever it Takes.

    "The email gave no reason for the resignation, which is effective immediately."

    Crikey, Dan Goodin in San Francisco, you don't need to be an Einstein, or a Watson, to rightly conclude, .... after reading of the barrage of successful attacks/hacks and cracks for Gladio style, stealthy sleeper embeds on sensitive facilities and critical utilities, which you can be sure should be considered as just a warm-up, and a flexing of invisible invincible anonymous virtual muscle, demonstrating disturbing prowess and undoubted ability to micro-manage global macros of command and control for inevitable, forthcoming major revolutionary cyber events, dear boy, events, ..... that the work required was way beyond both his[US Computer Emergency Readiness Team director Randy Vickers] paygrade and ability, thus rendering him correctly assessed as CyberIntelAIgently Unfit for Future Purpose and SMART Present Virtual Reality Product Placement .... which is what the Great IntelAIgents Game morphs IT into Playing with Primary Pieces/Real Beings and Virtually SMART Intelligently Designed Entities for Elite Orders hopelessly captured in Captivating CHAOS for Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems.

    Such is, I would submit, the least that is required for any successful CyberSpace Command and Control Centre and Virtual Hub for ESPecial Operations and MkUltraSensitive Missions in LOVE Theatres and the AIdiaspora ....... the Greater Realities in True Fields created by Global Operating Devices for and in Live Operational Virtualised Environments.

    US-CERT and the Department of Homeland Security are not alone in their struggles to come to terms with the new real and neureal and surreal virtual environment, though, for the Department of Defense also acknowledges it has present program and personnel weaknesses and they are always easily converted by some with the notion, for export to others with a requirement, as exploitable vulnerabilities ....... "Defense Department Cyber Efforts: DOD Faces Challenges In Its Cyber Activities" ....

    I wonder how spookily proficient the MOD and UKGBNI Offices of Cyber Security are in the field? Or is the present half a billion being wasted on maintaining and feeding status quo systems of operation in intellectual property fields which are highly irregular and subversively unconventional? Methinks we would all be able to hazard a not incorrect guess as to the answer to those rhetorical questions.

    The upside of all of the above though, is that it presents a fab opportunity for those super ultra proficient in its Novel IT Fields with SMARTer Algorithms.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      I can't decide...

      ...if this was a well written and informative post which was incompetently translated from Swahili, or if you are mental.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        What's your decision on the following, Anonymous Coward 101

        "Space scope spies soggy, stupendous Saturnian doughnut .... Incontinent moon squirts wetly onto ringed giant" ..... By Lester Haines Posted in Space, 26th July 2011 12:54 GMT ...

        Is it also incompetently translated from Swahili, or is Lester having a senior moment/psychotic episode/mental breakdown? :-) Which post makes more sense, or are you to say that they are both nonsense?

    2. StoneTheKiwis

      Good to see you back ..


  5. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    They have a VERY simple problem, shared by most corporates..

    .. they have become predictable.

    I've collected flak from a whole room of so-called security "specialists" when I told them they have, in effect, become administrators. What is presently called "innovation" are simply more ways to build the same mouse trap - creativity is constrained.

    The result is predictable processes, procedures, methods and toolsets. Resellers are happy with a nice comfy, steady revenue stream, managers are happy because they are 2following the rules" and thus escape liability when it inevitably goes wrong, tech people get new shiny toys with a bit of new learning - all wallow in familiar territory.

    There is a whole range of other approaches that nobody uses because they are harder, slightly out of the box and don't add to a CV. Yet what matters here: the CV and comfort feeling - or doing the actual job? From where I sit, the bad guys are getting better - too good for any feeling of comfort.

    So there. I'll take my medicine now..

    1. Anonymous Coward


      In addition to that 95%+ of the security professionals out there today have not build a product or a service within the last 10 years. Most have never had to build anything at all.

      They do _ONLY_ security and do it reactively using the same good old ready-baked response textbook.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Love the 'Spy vs. Spy' icon on the main page!

    yrs. Alfred E. Neumann

    1. Ted Treen

      Jaw drops in amazement...

      I'm the wrong side of 60, and didn't realise anyone of fewer summers would recall "Spy vs Spy" - ...

      1. A Known Coward

        Computer games and board games etc

        There were Spy vs Spy computer games in the 80s, 90s and recently one in 2005. I'm almost certain I remember a friend owning a board game too when I was a kid. Even if you've never heard of Mad Magazine or as in my case, never read a single issue, I would guess several generations have encountered the distinctive characters.

        There have also been multiple references in modern TV series, in fact one popped up in an American Dad repeat just this week. At the CIA building, the men's toilets had the black spy on the door, the woman's toilets the white spy.

      2. Kobus Botes



        I'm still on the right side of 60, but used to spend a sizable part of my allowance as a student on Mad.

        I never could decide who was best: Don Martin or Sergio Aragones.

        Maybe I should sort out my attic - there should still be a couple of Mad's lying about (in amongst my treasured copies of Omni Magazine.

        A quick scan of my bookcase failed to locate the Don Martin Special that I know was floating around, but did unearth Captain Klutz II. As it happens, the first story is called "To Brusha with love"....


        ....which features nuclear clouds and other skulduggery!

        Captain Fonebone

        The cloud, obviously.

      3. Anonymous Coward


        I'm the wrong side of 50 and I was think of Alfred E Neuman's organ.

        I know of no steeeenking 'computer games'.

  7. Fading

    Spy vs Spy

    As a child of the 8 bit generation I remember spy vs spy on my Amstrad CPC 464 - green screen.......

  8. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


    He just inherited $60 million from a Nigerian prince so there's no need for him to keep his day job.

  9. Eponymous Bastard

    Lee Rock?

    Well there's a name to inspire confidence. If he'd been educated at an English public school he'd have been either bullied to tears or broken the limbs of many of the school's "free-place" but ESN nutters. Good luck to him!

  10. Disco-Legend-Zeke


    I have almost no clue as to how to stop all the cyber-spies.

    Thus, i am perfectly qualified this position.

    Just google my name to read my CV.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Is the head of such an outfit ever going to be other than middle of the road?

    If you're too good, you become a target for the enemy's outfits.

    If you're not good enough, you get sacked by your own side.

  12. Buzzby

    The Third Spy

    People don't forget the third spy, the lady in grey. I read Mad from the 60's to the 80's, don martin was my favourite.

    Does anyone remember Captain Kook & Mr Spook of the good ship Booby Prize. Just 60, I still remember..

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move along move along nothing to see here move along now thank you move along...

    "The departure of US Computer Emergency Readiness Team director Randy Vickers was first reported Monday by InformationWeek, which cited an internal email sent to US-CERT staff. The email gave no reason for the resignation, which is effective immediately."

    Um, no connection to the lulzsec penetrations at all, o' course. Nor for that matter to anythin' 'nonamous, no no no a thousand times no no no... Sheer ran-dumb co-inky-dink ohyah. (Tell me another. It MIGHT work...)

    The problem: Cushy Sinecures for the Incompetent Though Well-Connected.

    The cause: Rampant Corporatist (aka "Fascist") penetration and hollowing-out of the standing institutions, amounting to a stealth coup d'etat of the US National First Principles, Best Practices and Equitable Normal Procedures. (Yes, electronically voted-in; Germany went down that road too only with Less Electronix once, iirc)

    The solution: Massive RETURN to GENUINELY HUMAN REALITY. (GET REAL, War-sh(ill)ing-ton!)

    From "Levee-Breach" Brownie with love: Hekkuvva' job, Vickie! See you at the club! (BTW yer' whole krue'z underwater.)

    Fact: The day the USDC Jurisdiction is returned to its rightful place *under* all the Rest of Us shall be the day this Old Turtle can hang their Funny Hat on the peg in the corner and spend the night just lookin' up at the stars for a change. Until that day, thyough, imvh&experienced_o the Twitter #FUCKYOUWASHINGTON hashtag is well-justified and should NOT be truncated, censored, nor de-archived in any way shape nor form. Ditto the October 6 2011 US Day of Rage Occupation, which is already in motion...

    Fact: The Great Can-Opener in the Sky is NOT a Corporate Product. It can NOT be Made to Go Away by Corporatist Means. Nor by any form of IT whizz-bang wall-um-off wizardry, no matter how costly 'n' comprehensive nor cumbersome. (Hint: 100% *honest* dealings + 100% public transparency-of-governance = Happy Populace.)

    Even Benito Mussolini eventually was shown that Basic Human Essential Fact, albeit somewhat late in life and only briefly, then pendulating upside-down a few scant feet under a common Esso gas station canopy. (It was ever thus; this too shall pass...)

    Posting 'a/c' just so's to bring out that wonderful Mask-Man Icon. And that is all. 0{:-|o<

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