Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What causes NSA to lose sleep at night?

It's not whether Apple will unlock an iPhone:
Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the NSA and the US Cyber Command, has told delegates during his keynote address at RSA 2016 the three things that keep him awake at night. 
His first fear is an online attack against US critical infrastructure, which he said was a matter of when it will happen, not if. Citing the recent Ukrainian power grid hack as an example, Rogers said that the target was an obvious one and security systems in the US national critical infrastructure were not strong enough.
While #3 on his list is pretty obvious, his second insomnia-inducing worry is pretty darn interesting.  RTWT.

But he closes with a plea that I think will fall on deaf ears:
The NSA can't handle all of this itself, he said, and pleaded with the assembled security experts to bring their skills to the government in partnerships.
I've been quite critical about how NSA's behavior over the last 15 years has alienated a large portion of the security industry practitioners.  I haven't seen anything over the last year or two to cause me to change that - and the whole FBiPhone incident is causing even more collateral damage.

NSA has a lot of smart people, and the ones who are trying to fight the Bad Guys are fighting the Good Fight.  But they have a huge branding problem to overcome.  Adm. Rogers isn't addressing that.

8 comments:

Brad Richards said...

Dunno, I find his "nightmares" too general to be meaningful.

You are right that the NSA has a branding problem, but it is deserved. He can't solve things by fixing the branding, he needs to solve the underlying problems. Just as an example: nobody forces the NSA use secret court hearings; they could make the hearings part of the public record, or go to a normal court for their authorizations. They could openly end their abusive programs. Etc.

Admiral Rogers won't do any of this. Hence, the branding problem.

SiGraybeard said...

NSA has a lot of smart people, and the ones who are trying to fight the Bad Guys are fighting the Good Fight.

How about if I rewrite that?

NSA has a lot of smart people, but they're not the ones in charge and making policy. The ones who are trying to fight the Bad Guys are the smart ones fighting the Good Fight.

Archer said...

Link no worky. Goes to a "Sorry, this page doesn't exist!" page on The Register's domain.

Old Windways said...

Correct link here I believe:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/01/nsa_boss_three_security_nightmares

Borepatch said...

Link updated, thanks.

Chris Byrne said...

I'm still laughing at the "when" part... as if...

Borepatch said...

Chris, yup. The interesting question is what's already completely pwned?

Chris Byrne said...

Between what I know, and what I strongly suspect, with good reason... I really don't want to think about it.