Feeds

FBI cybersleuths incompetent – Congress

Keystone Cops ride again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) has been shamed in a US Congress General Accounting Office (GAO) report which characterizes the federal cybersleuths as un-original players preoccupied with trivial matters, and unable to articulate timely warnings.

The whopping 108-page critique finds the NIPC disorganized and staffed with dead-weight bunglers:

"The NIPC's efforts to develop a more robust warning capability have been impeded by a lack of staff expertise and because a government-wide or nationwide framework for promptly collecting and analyzing incident information has not been established."

It's record in providing strategic analysis -- a core NIPC mission -- is also dismal, the GAO finds.

"Since it was established in 1998, the NIPC has issued a variety of analytical products. Most of these products have been based on the work of others, with some original NIPC analysis. The majority of the NIPC's original analysis has been tactical analysis performed in support of investigations of individual incidents."

Indeed, in practice the NIPC appears to be little more than an incident reporting operation.

"To provide a warning capability....the NIPC established the Watch and Warning Unit. The Unit's objective is to identify attacks that appear imminent and alert government entities, businesses, and the public, so that significant damage can be averted. While some warnings have been issued in time to avert damage, most of the warnings, especially those related to viruses, have pertained to attacks that were already underway."

Inter-agency rivalries are another source of trouble, the GAO observes. The NIPC early on developed a reputation for not working and playing well with others, and in one example appears to have done a smashing job of offending the US Secret Service with a mixture of condescension and jealousy.

"The Secret Service withdrew the detailees it had originally provided to the NIPC because Secret Service officials felt that the Service's personnel were not provided appropriate responsibilities," the report notes.

Among its recommendations, the GAO suggests that the NIPC 'formalize relationships with other agencies' (start cooperating), and further that regulations be enacted requiring reports to be shared among agencies.

NIPC Director Ronald Dick says he intends to flesh out the Center's niche in the realm of national cyber defense during his tenure. Fair enough; but the tone of the GAO report makes it clear that he's really on a rescue mission, and one in which Congressional patience, and its attendant financial support, is running short. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.