Access denied: Obama moves to tighten US cyber-security
White House sources indicate that President Obama intends to release an executive order Wednesday which will be targeted at preventing cyber-attacks against the United States.
Recently, cyber-hackers from Anonymous took credit for the embarrassing breach on portions of the Federal Reserve computer system, reportedly in response to the suicide of Reddit founder, Aaron Swartz.
According to an ABC News release, the Anonymous attack paralyzed the ability to communicate with financial institutions in the event of terrorist attacks of natural disasters. A fed representative said the disruption was temporary and was never any threat to monetary or financial policy information. But it was a wakeup call for the Feds and a full investigation was opened.
Technology News claimed the threat of terrorist-backed attacks on sensitive and vital US financial and communication systems have been growing for years, prompted by initially unsophisticated cyber-attacks on banking systems that started in 2011.
However, the broadband size has been increasing and the attacks have been escalated, with Wells Fargo bank being added to the list that already includes Bank of America, JP Morgan and Citigroup.
Iran has long been suspected in the banking cyber-spy game, but Iranian leaders continue to deny they are involved.
The Obama administration has been preparing defensive policies to better protect the US from cyber-terrorism since lawmakers on Capitol Hill failed to pass cyber-security legislation last year.
A report in Monday’s The Hill put it this way:
The highly anticipated directive from President Obama is expected to be released at a briefing Wednesday morning at the US Department of Commerce, where senior administration officials will provide an update about cybersecurity policy. The executive order would establish a voluntary program in which companies operating critical infrastructure would elect to meet cybersecurity best practices and standards crafted, in part, by the government.
President Obama is still working on his State of the Union agenda for Tuesday night, but it was unclear if he would include cyber-security in his already-packed speech.
"It represents a huge challenge for our country. The president has called on Congress to take action. Unfortunately, Congress has thus far refused legislatively," said WH spokesman Jay Carney at a Monday press briefing. "But I don't have any previews to provide."
President Obama and Republicans in Congress continue to lock horns and have found little they can agree on legislatively after the 2012 election, with the possible exception of immigration reform, but any final consensus has a long way to go.
Republicans railed against Obama’s “liberal” agenda from his inaugural speech, which included a commitment to tackle climate change and the defense of equal rights for gay Americans, so executive order may have to be the tool-of-choice for Obama in his effort to get anything meaningful done in his second term.
Jean Williams, environmental and political journalist; PrairieDogPress writer; Artistic Director, Keystone Prairie Dogs.***PrairieDogPress is the media channel for keystone-prairie-dogs.com, which is a fundraising website to support environmental groups for extraordinary efforts to protect Great Plains habitat and prairie dogs in the wild. PDP uses humorous images, social commentary and serious-minded political reports to challenge government on numerous levels, including accountability to the people, the protection of threatened species, the environment and Earth’s natural resources.