back to article Biden said to be assembling cyber dream team to sort out US govt computer security

President Biden is preparing to assemble a crack US government cybersecurity team, and has pledged $10bn in funding to shore up the defenses of Uncle Sam's computer networks. Former NSA and National Security Council official Jen Easterly will reportedly be put forward as National Cyber Director, a role that will oversee the …

  1. martinusher Silver badge

    About time

    We spend a fortune on network snooping, its pretty much all the NSA does. Given this you'd think that they'd have not only been actively developing exploits for offense but also actively researching defensive measures. They haven't, and as a result everyone's been left to more or less fend for themselves for decades. Its business for some, certainly, but the threat to national security and the losses through crime are intolerable, a huge burden on the economy.

    It always annoys me to read of someone losing money through a scam with the banks in particular throwing up their hands and saying "What can we do?", especially when we know that government monitors transactions for illegal activity all the time in the name of 'sanctions'. I think government has a warped set of priorities -- its so busy fighting Cold War 2 that they can't be bothered to deal with real threats. We see things through a very narrow geopolitical lens, its all about twarting "the Russians" or "the Chinese" that it never occurs to us that there are criminals all over the place -- sure, governments may well be in there someplace but where there's money to be made there's plenty of others trying their luck.

    1. hammarbtyp

      Re: About time

      Remember it was the NSA doing a lot of the snooping of domestic networks, so they seem to had little interest in closing the holes. Also remember that some parts of the US government are still asking for mandated security holes in secure devices. If any lesson should be learned from the whole SolarWinds debacle it is a security exploit never stays secret for long

      Here's a fun idea. Maybe they should pardon Edward Snowden and give him the job?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: About time

        It goes further than that. Those whose job is snooping seem quite lax about their own security. You'd at least expect them to be careful about that, but, no, all those exploits somehow got leaked as Eternal Blue.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About time

      NSA has been used primarily for (not the staff themselves) insider trading. You don't make perfect stock picks every time without perfect information (congress/senate) but yeah, it would be nice if they worked for the people that pay them (tax payers) and not against them for a change. but I'm not holding my breath for a big 180 in behavior.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "primarily public-sector people with relatively limited experience in the corporate world"


    Hopefully that means that he chose people who aren't easily given in to favoring companies over their job obligations because they aren't expecting a cushy boardroom seat when they're done forgetting what their actual job is.

    Eh, Pai ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "primarily public-sector people with relatively limited experience in the corporate world"

      Primarily public sector does not mean they have never worked in the private sector either, there's a benefit from having done both.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Network security

    Joking aside, how many of these systems really need to be accessible from outside?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Network security

      And how many even need to be accessible from most of those inside? But it's soooo much more convenient if they are.

    2. hammarbtyp

      Re: Network security

      Its a good point, and you wonder why a company like FireEye would keep there exploits in a non-air gapped system, especially as they more than anyone would know the possible risks

      Saying that I always get a good laugh in Skyfall when Q decides to attach the miscreants computer to the internal network in order to break it...

  4. Long John Silver

    Room for lateral thinking?

    Why not start off by setting up competitions for teenage hackers and obsessive adults to penetrate systems underlying (alleged) national security? It could be like an online game with pots of gold hidden away at various depths in the system. The deeper the cache the greater the reward.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Room for lateral thinking?

      And the winner "disappears" because they're far too dangerous to be left at liberty?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Room for lateral thinking?

      I don't think the problem is finding people with technical skills. I think it's an HR issue, of needing to hire people with ethics, and not specifically people that will do what ever is asked of them. Then respecting their input.

    3. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Room for lateral thinking?

      "Greetings, StarFighter!"

      (Note that the "recruiter" in that film was played by the same actor who played Professor Harold Hill in "The Music man", an "educator" with flexible ethics)

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge

    A New Dawn

    At least Mr. Biden has seen the need to strengthen the powers and budgets of the 3-Letter Agencies who guard all America from those they determine are bad actors: he has always been their friend, unlike Mr. Trump who denigrated and underfunded them in their fine aims.

    Plus he has massive experience in writing Laws to fight Criminals and Terrists, from the 1994 Crime Bill [ which doubled the number of Death Penalty offences inter alia and put so many behind bars, to writing the bulk of the Patriot Act, to protecting financial institutions such as credit companies and banks, to making sure people couldn't default on their debts to such institutions, to his new Equality Act now coming.

    America, and her 3-Letter Guardians could be in no safer hands. Plus the latter will get more monies.

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