Former White House Cyber Czar Howard Schmidt: Toward an ‘arms race in cyberspace’

Video: Following a fictional cyber attack war game at Washington Post Live's 2013 Cybersecurity Summit, former high level officials -- including former deputy secretary of Homeland Security Jane Lute, former FBI Cyber Division deputy assistant director Steve Chabinsky, former National Intelligence General Counsel Ben Powell and former deputy director of Naval Intelligence Terry Roberts -- offer real life lessons about the future of cyber attacks and defense.

As part of its 2013 Cybersecurity Summit, Washington Post Live convened leading national security officials, industry experts and journalists for conversations addressing cyber risks and the future of cyber defense.

Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity coordinator, partner Ridge Schmidt Cyber

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The problem is when you call another law enforcement agency [abroad] that’s dealing with all kinds of issues and saying, “I need you to stop what you’re doing and help me because somebody lost $100,000 from their checking account in the U.S.,” they’ll say, “Get in line. We’ll see you in six months. Call us back and we may, if we have time, be able to at least give you a name of somebody.” Not much more than that.

So this arms race in cyberspace we’re seeing where we have 27 countries now that declared they have cyber commands or its equivalents, they’re now declaring they’re creating cyber-offensive, which is just another word for writing malware or learning “Zero Days” and exploiting those sorts of things. If that applies and you’re going to create a piece of malware that you’ll launch against someone else, if you do that, that’s fine. You better make sure that it can’t be modified and used against you.

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