(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for March 12th, 2009


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DHS Appoints Microsoft Exec to Secure Government Computers

By Kim Zetter EmailMarch 11, 2009 | 7:35:01 PMCategories: Cybersecurity

You might not think it’s newsworthy when the Department of Homeland Security fills a job vacancy. But it’s news when a department that has security in its name actually appoints someone with security in his background.

Unfortunately, in this case, the security background comes courtesy of Microsoft, which might cause some to ponder the phrase “unclear on the concept.”

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that she was appointing Philip Reitinger to the position of deputy undersecretary of the department’s National Protections Program Directorate. The job requires Reitinger to oversee the protection of the government’s computer networks and work with the private sector to help secure critical infrastructures.

Reitinger comes to DHS from his job as chief trustworthy infrastructure strategist for Microsoft, a job that required him in part to help develop and implement strategies for enhancing the security of critical infrastructures.

But since many people in the security industry feel that Microsoft has played a large role in the lack of security (.pdf) with government and infrastructure systems, his appointment might be considered what some would call ironic (.pdf).

A DHS spokeswoman indicated that the appointment is a signal of how seriously Napolitano takes the issue of computer security.

Dan Geer, vice president and chief scientist at computer security firm Verdasys and one of Microsoft’s chief critics in the past, said, “The theory is that the best security program managers are sadder but wiser — that nothing focuses the mind like having been really close to the really ugly.  As number two in security at Microsoft, Phil has been far closer to far uglier than anyone else on the planet, so we’ll soon see if the theory is correct.”

Reitinger, who served during the Bush Administration on the Industry Executive Subcommittee of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, is an improvement over Scott Charbo, who held the DHS job last year after being promoted from his position as chief information officer of the DHS — a promotion that was criticized on Capitol Hill. Charbo had come to DHS from the Department of Agriculture, where, as CIO, his focus was on integrating networks, not securing them.

Reitinger at least has a background and an understanding of computer security issues. He also has a strong background in computer crime issues. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2003, he was executive director of the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center, which includes a computer forensic lab and computer investigations training program. And before that, he was a federal criminal prosecutor for the Department of Justice where he served as deputy chief of its Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

One of Reitinger’s first tasks in his new job will be deciding what to do with the job that Rod Beckstrom will vacate this Friday. Beckstrom resigned last week from his position as director of DHS’s National Cyber Security Center, where he was, essentially, the government’s cybersecurity czar. Beckstrom expressed frustration in his resignation letter that DHS wasn’t taking cybersecurity seriously, and he wasn’t being given the resources to do his job. He also complained that the National Security Agency was moving to take over DHS’s cybersecurity role.

DHS wouldn’t respond to those criticisms directly, but told Threat Level that Beckstrom wasn’t a team player.

“He was not really doing what he needs to do and working with people,” the spokeswoman said. “The secretary wanted to bring someone in who was more a team player and was good at their job and knew what was going on. She has brought in someone who will really do something with this issue.”

Obviously the federal government has a sense of irony in hiring someone from Microflaccid to lead a “cyber security” effort.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/03/12 at 23:30

Why Liberals Should Support the Right to Armed Self-Defense

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Mmmmm Hillbilly Heroin...

Mmmmm Hillbilly Heroin...

In the runup to the election, a common prediction among the right wing and conservative blogs was that if Obama lost the election that the negroes/liberals/commies/Obama-supporter

s would riot. Not like a burn down a few stores riot, but like a serious “totally lose their shit” riot. Nationwide. Many were preparing for such an eventuality.

I didn’t really think anything like that would happen. I thought it more likely that the right-wingers would riot if Obama won than the left-wingers if McCain won. There were no anti-Obama riots, I was wrong.

Sort of.

There were no instantaneous riots, but I said “The McCain/Palin campaign is unleashing some very ugly forces in this country that, combined with some dark economic days ahead, are going to be very hard to put back in the bottle.” And it appears that it might be the case.

From Throwingstardna on LiveJournal

As a pseudo left winger at times, and a bona fide “Northern Yankee Liberal” I just don’t get those who are so averse to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to carry a weapon. Its your right to do so and if the government local and federal says ok, then you should take advantage of it. Of course in today’s world it is something that possibly could save your life and the lives of others if you do carry.

In today’s society though, with the 2nd great depression and all of the instability in the U.S. and the world it seems to be more prescient. Of course there always will be the odd crank who will go nuts with a bunch of guns and kill a bunch of people, but, it seems lately with all the stress out there that this is happening a bit more frequently. This week has seen what, two or three of these events in the world?

Of course what this entry portends is even more scary in that I too have seen this trending not only from the run up to the election, but also now post election. All those crazy right wingers have been slathering rabidly at the jowls with a fervor that I can only say is akin to the old south around 1861. Sure they use “Socialist or Commie” but, the sentiment is much the same; “We want to remove the current administration any way we can!”

Quite frankly its scary.

So, insurrection? Are the Alex Jones set going to finally unveil the “New World Order” and cause a 2009 version of the “Turner Diaries” ? Are the Rushies lead by their corpulant and fatuous leader going to somehow facilitate the Obama administrations “Failure” ??

I don’t think so…

But it’s only going to add fuel to an already smouldering fire in the minds of all those trailer trash, dentally challenged, 5th grade educated, and mentally unstable morons out there who vote, shout, and slather over Rush. One can only hope that the light of sanity can outshine the dark of the uneducated ensorceled Rushies.

Bread and circuses my friends…

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/03/12 at 23:22

The Pentagon Papers.. 1971… 2009?

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Well, I had been consulting for the government, and this is now ’64, for about six years at that point, since ’58, in particular since ’59: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and now Johnson. And I had seen a lot of classified material by this time—I mean, tens of thousands of pages—and had been in a position to compare it with what was being said to the public. The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. … The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth—essentially, never say the whole truth—of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.

Daniel Ellsberg

I just finished watching “The Pentagon Papers” and I have to say I am admiring what Ellsberg did. For whatever the reason, whether it be his own ego, or his love of the country, this man laid it on the line when he saw something incredibly wrong with our government.

Watching this with the perspective of the recent release of the Yoo memo’s only made me more worried that there is a lot more that our “Classification Happy” now ex president squirreled away in the recesses of some safe somewhere. Odd how the last 8 years seem to be slowly coming out of the shadows and exposed to the light, have an eerie likeness to the Nixon years huh… Of course, if you read the papers (which I may try and do some of that) then you also get a feel for the hubris of not only Nixon but also Johnson, Kennedy, etc etc… All made poor decisons and decieved the people as well as the rest of the government.

No Virginia, there is no shining city on the hill….

If you have a netflix account, add this film to the list and watch it...

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/03/12 at 01:12