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An Interview With Cybersecurity Czar Howard Schmidt

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the like-sanitation-director-only-you-do-less dept.

Government 41

Trailrunner7 writes to tell us that US cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt recently gave an interview where he discusses his career and what he sees as the priorities of the positions. "Howard Schmidt has been involved in just about every aspect of the security industry during his career. After stints in the Air Force and at Microsoft, he served as a cybersecurity advisor to George W. Bush. Now, after heading back to the private sector for several years, he's been appointed to serve as President Obama's security advisor."

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41 comments

and yet with all his personal success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237368)

The US is still completely at the mercy of our adversaries when it comes to internet security.

fuckfuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237410)

Well your girlfriends a whore and your other friend is enjoying peacefull nonexsistance in the endless void of death. way i see it you could join your friend in oblivion, whine about it forever, do some crazy revenge scheme that'll probably get you arrested or the shit kicked out of you or you could go out into the world and tap some strange ass. floss your teeth with some pubes. Go to a strip club and get some smelly fish-cunt in your face. Down a bottle of jsck and wake up south of the border with one of your kidneys gone and dirty mexican prostitute just endlessly sucking your dick. Fuck off the people that don't matter and then fuck of the people that do. Blow your life savings, your college savings Fuck college. college is for people afraid to live. Use all that money to rent a fast car and 20 kilos of coke and then drive across the united states, tourturing and killing at least one person in every state you drive through. at some point carve out a coyote head and wear it as a hat and run through a town packing as much heat as you can and calling yourself anubus the god of death. probably by then you'll have forgotten all about your gutterslut of a girlfriend and your corpse of a friend.

HA HA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237614)

Joke's on you, I haven't had a girlfriend in several years!

Re:fuckfuck (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31239504)

Well your girlfriends a whore and your other friend is enjoying peacefull nonexsistance in the endless void of death. way i see it you could join your friend in oblivion, whine about it forever, do some crazy revenge scheme that'll probably get you arrested or the shit kicked out of you or you could go out into the world and tap some strange ass. floss your teeth with some pubes. Go to a strip club and get some smelly fish-cunt in your face. Down a bottle of jsck and wake up south of the border with one of your kidneys gone and dirty mexican prostitute just endlessly sucking your dick. Fuck off the people that don't matter and then fuck of the people that do. Blow your life savings, your college savings Fuck college. college is for people afraid to live. Use all that money to rent a fast car and 20 kilos of coke and then drive across the united states, tourturing and killing at least one person in every state you drive through. at some point carve out a coyote head and wear it as a hat and run through a town packing as much heat as you can and calling yourself anubus the god of death. probably by then you'll have forgotten all about your gutterslut of a girlfriend and your corpse of a friend.

Alright, who's the dumbass who let AC get a hold of the meth pipe...Cripes, can't take you anywhere...

Re:and yet with all his personal success (2, Informative)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31239484)

The US is still completely at the mercy of our adversaries when it comes to internet security.

Funny thing about Security positions. You do them "good enough", you continue to have a job. You do them to an Outstanding level, you can work yourself right out of a job.

Meet the new boss... (2, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237432)

...the same as the old boss.

Re:Meet the new boss... (0, Redundant)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237484)

Judging from the summery, it looks like there isn't actually a new boss, it's just the same boss again.

Re:Meet the new boss... (2, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237574)

Checking the Washington TerrorBall League scores, Cyberspace Security went undefeated during the Bush administration so it's logical that this guy didn't get cut from the team. Bush had an overall losing record, even as today's teabaggers are still protesting the scores, but that's why he had to go.

Re:Meet the new boss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238304)

Instead of Czar maybe it should have been Huángdì since the chinese seem the best in the market right now ...

Re:Meet the new boss... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31240724)

In what is surely a huge surprise, he recommends standardizing on the software from his last employer...Microsoft...

I guess, because they've released the most patches, their software is the most secure?

Air Force, Microsoft, Private Sector, Obama (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237448)

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Incompetent.

Yours In Vilnius,
K. Trout

Someone took it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237450)

This is the one that people were turning down because its only purpose is whipping boy, right?

The real threat to internet security? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237464)

It's the fags. The dick smoking fags are the biggest threat.

Bush Admin fails IT! (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237542)

As covered by Slashdot last week, [slashdot.org] a team of Bush-era staffers simulating a White House situation room responding to a "March Madness" trojan app attack was broadcast repeatedly by CNN over the weekend. That simulated attack turned smartphones into a botnet, then started attacking the Internet, and then with communications down it was easy for a few explosions to knock out power to the East Coast. The team failed... they took too long arguing over what they couldn't do instead of doing what they could. For example, telling people to shut off smartphones was met with theories into how they could require smartphones to go offline.. and that was just a waster of clock time because there's no law providing for that.

The government needs the help of geeks, but the problem is anybody who gets into government wants to give themselves too much power, and that turns out ruining them.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237780)

There's no law for that. Uh... how about, dunno, something old fashioned? Like, asking nicely? I know, it's an alien concept of an entity that's used to simply ordering what it wants from its subjects, but, ya know, it just might work. People like their country in general and are willing to make a few noncritical sacrifices (I know, another alien concept to politicians) if it helps their country.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237870)

Would they though? Enough of them, I mean. I'm sure some percentage would, but I know more than a few people I'd fully expect to react like the government had asked them to cut off their own genitalia, and if you didn't get enough cooperation, asking nicely wouldn't help. I'm not suggesting anything here, just wondering out loud.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (4, Interesting)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237954)

They could politely *ask* the cellular companies to temporarily disable the data services at the towers, leaving voice enabled. That would probably be more effective in the end... simply text all the phones a notification that data services would be down for between X and Y hours.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238604)

or send them a post-it note.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242376)

And then we could have exciting years of conspiracy theories on why the government shut down communications...

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31239702)

After years of giving your subjects the general feeling that their country doesn't give a rat's ass about them? Prolly not. Guess you're right.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237938)

There's no law for that. Uh... how about, dunno, something old fashioned? Like, asking nicely?

Why bother asking when you can just make a law that lets you order it? So much easier, since you can send in police to quell complainers rather than having to do your job of interacting with the rabble that voted you in. And even better, you can use said law for situations beyond what you originally promised they'd be used for. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31239754)

Because laws take time 'til they are passed. And such things don't get announced a few months in advance so it can get through congress in time when you need it. And there's already a law in place for asking nicely: The EAS [wikipedia.org], or rather, the law that makes this system possible.

If nothing else, at least we'd then finally get to see and hear that this system is anything but up to spec when the prez (or whoever gets to read the note) asks everyone to turn off their cells.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (2, Funny)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237994)

There's no law for that. Uh... how about, dunno, something old fashioned? Like, asking nicely?

Who let this Canadian into the situation room?

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

FlightTest (90079) | more than 4 years ago | (#31239168)

Yes, because voluntary compliance works so well in the U.S.

We asked people to use a hands-free device when using cell phones while driving, that is truly a noncritical sacrifice, and the request was completely ignored. By the same token, while there are definitely more people using hands-free now with laws in place, even the law is widely ignored.

Asking Americans or even telling us with the force of law is pointless.

As someone else pointed out, you're far better off asking the cell carriers (or twisting their arms a bit) to shut off data services than trying to get millions of Americans to do anything that might inconvenience us in the least.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31239808)

That's common curtsey. A dated thing, nobody really cares about that. And nobody really sees the requirement for it.

In this case, you're asking people to do something that is critical for the safety of the nation. Now, I don't know if the general "national pride" of the US has been deteriorated fully in the past 5 years since I was in the country last time, so that people would deliberately ignore such requests (if they do, you'd get to see that you have a LOT more problems at hand than a handful of funky terrorists trying to blow up a building or two) when asked to do something minor for the safety of the nation. Also, don't forget that this request would be temporary, for a few hours, maybe a day. Not something installed and to be heeded for (presumably) the rest of the year or the rest of your life.

Also, unless I read something very wrong here, this was a test alert. Great opportunity to test the "readiness" of the nation in total as well. Are people willing to heed an order (or a request) by the president for national safety? If not, you have way bigger problems at your hands than some trojan taking out da intarwebs.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242876)

Yes, because voluntary compliance works so well in the U.S.

Well, the income tax levy is a hugely successful exercise in voluntary compliance, if a sad one. No bills are mailed out. The victims are merely told to work it out for themselves and ante up. The Constitutional Amendment (16th) authorizing it did not even properly pass. The issue was just swept under the rug and so the lie began.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (2, Interesting)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237912)

I may have said it in the other thread, but maybe not...

If smart phones were turned into a botnet and they started attacking the internet, I am pretty sure AT&T / Verizon / ETC could AND WOULD stop this ASAP.

every minute their network is congested / down / attacking other parts of its company means lost revenue to them...

For this specific attack it makes sense that these companies would either know about this before the Gov't does, or at least be willing to listen to the gov't in this situation.

 

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237970)

Yep. This is exactly why Apple has a killbit by which they can get rid of an trojan app as soon as they find out about it. Too bad these people didn't realize that before they took the wrong action.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31239584)

As covered by Slashdot last week, [slashdot.org] a team of Bush-era staffers simulating a White House situation room responding to a "March Madness" trojan app attack was broadcast repeatedly by CNN over the weekend. That simulated attack turned smartphones into a botnet, then started attacking the Internet, and then with communications down it was easy for a few explosions to knock out power to the East Coast. The team failed... they took too long arguing over what they couldn't do instead of doing what they could. For example, telling people to shut off smartphones was met with theories into how they could require smartphones to go offline.. and that was just a waster of clock time because there's no law providing for that.

The government needs the help of geeks, but the problem is anybody who gets into government wants to give themselves too much power, and that turns out ruining them.

Uh, in dealing with the situation regarding the issuance of "too much power", perhaps someone should take a bit closer look at the one going apeshit over the creation of "Czar" positions that pretty much walk around with the power to take a shit on the Constitution and wipe with the Bill of Rights instead of trying to make it appear that Bush-era Admins are so much worse than the ones sitting in the real room today. Like any Gov agency in the last couple of decades hasn't failed IT...Please.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (2, Insightful)

mog007 (677810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31240442)

When did this "czar" shit even start? Was it the drug czar position that was made back in the 80s? This is the fucking United States, not pre-Lenin Russia. We do not have czars; we're a fucking republic.

Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31258230)

... we're a fucking republic.

We're a fucked republic.

Fixed that for you

Brilliant and Frightening (4, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237936)

Now some of the universities that I teach at, such as Georgia Tech and Idaho State University, our Scholarship for Service programs, as soon as they get done, they’re going in government, fairly high-level positions as security experts.

The wisdom of this is simultaneously frightening and brilliant.

“Hey, I’m seeing this really anonymous activity on this particular port. Are you guys seeing that?” “Yeah, we are.” Well, that solves problems and that’s what this is all about.

Mission accomplished! (In a GWB ironical reference kind of way)

and many people don’t realize that there is not the one power company that looks after the entire country.

This guy can sell ice to eskimos!

No wonder I have grave concerns regarding the future of my country.

Missing Emails.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237956)

Was it in the interest of Cyber-Security, during the G.H.W. Bush White House Administration, to have all those White House emails disappear?

Was it an inside job, outside job, or just the NSA conveniently covering their ass?

Nice Internet you have. Pity if it should break. (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238928)

Every time I hear the term "Czar", I think Russian mobster with protection racket. Is it just me?

Re:Nice Internet you have. Pity if it should break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31239420)

No, I tend to think of Russian kings, seeing as that's what a "czar" is.

Re:Nice Internet you have. Pity if it should break (1)

zx-15 (926808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31240480)

More like a dude because of his incompetence gets killed alongside his family.

There's lots of names for russian mobsters, but I don't think that 'Czar' is a popular one, it could be used as a mediocre individual nickname, but not as a general term.

Re:Nice Internet you have. Pity if it should break (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244472)

Every time I hear the term "Czar", I think Russian mobster with protection racket. Is it just me?

Nope, I just see us losing the cold war when I see the "Czar" as an American rank.

Wait, what, we won the cold war? Then how come they are now running our security? And KGB is a text messaging 'ask any question' service.

Are you sure we won the cold war?

Re: "cybersecurity advisor to George W. Bush" (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241368)

The guy must know his stuff; I'd dearly love to know how he made emails originating from the whitehouse.gov domain disappear not only after they hit the RNC's servers, but after they were stored to tape.

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