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Cybersecurity Laws Would Do More Harm Than Good 77

Trailrunner7 writes with one perspective on the inability of the Congress to pass 'cybersecurity' legislation before recessing. From the article: "They've taken innumerable swings at it, and struck out every time, ... and, for once, we all should be thankful for our lawmakers' inability to act. ... What it's not good at is understanding the Internet or acting swiftly and decisively. The current cybersecurity legislation mess is the perfect combination of those two factors. Corporations and government agencies in the U.S. have been getting their heads handed to them by attackers from around the world for several years now. Long-term, persistent campaigns have been targeting defense contractors, energy and utility companies, manufacturing firms, and government agencies with an alarming rate of success. But Congress, or at least some members of it, don't seem to understand that. Sen. Joseph Lieberman sent a letter Monday to President Obama, comparing the threat to U.S. networks from foreign attackers to the threat from terrorists before 9/11. He then urged the president to use his executive authority to somehow influence the situation. Let's be clear: If the companies that own and operate critical infrastructure — not to mention defense contractors — don't understand the nature of the threat they're facing at this point, no amount of incentives will change that. Neither Congress nor the President can fix this problem with the kinds of solutions they're considering." Reader CurseYouKhan links to a different perspective: "Chabinsky is the latest of several former Federal security types to issue warnings on the topic. Earlier this year, Shawn Henry, who recently retired as the Bureau’s top cyber-sleuth, also called for a more offense-minded approach. Ex-CIA director Michael Hayden thinks the private sector may not wait for the government to act. He expects to see the emergence of a 'digital Blackwater,' or the emergence of firms that could be hired to go all mercenary on online intruders."
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Cybersecurity Laws Would Do More Harm Than Good

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  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:36PM (#41466215) Journal

    It doesn't. It mandates the use of FIPS 140-2 validated components when doing business with or for the Federal Gov't.

    Most people wouldn't even know if it was turned on. All it really does is set a configuration where when you use crypto all that is available to choose from is 3DES and AES. And for hashes, SHA-1 or SHA-2 suite. You can't use MD5, Blowfish, DES, or some proprietary crap the vendor is trying to pawn off to lock you in.

    And it must be a validated implementation. That is, you can't code up your own version of AES in Javascript and use that. Yes, OpenSSL has a validated version and that is the core module used by almost everyone in FOSS land.

    I'm having a hard time understanding why, of all the things gov't mandates, picking on THAT one as a bad example.

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.