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Timeline: The U.S. Government and Cybersecurity

2000-2001: Rep. Horn turns his Y2K readiness report cards into cybersecurity readiness report cards. The number of poor grades among federal agencies sparks greater scrutiny of federal information technology officials.

Jan. 2000: The Clinton administration releases its cybersecurity strategy. The document earns a cool reception from industry, which was left out of much of the drafting process. Civil liberties and privacy groups say it advocates a government-wide intrusion detection network. They also say it could dramatically expand government surveillance of the nation's communications networks. Plans for an intrusion detection network are dropped.

_____Web Special_____
Cyber-Attacks by Al Qaeda Feared (The Washington Post, Jun 27, 2002)
White House Pushing Cybersecurity Insurance (washingtonpost.com, Jun 27, 2002)
Related Documents and Resources On The Web (washingtonpost.com, May 16, 2003)
Key Players in U.S. Government's Cybersecurity Efforts (washingtonpost.com, May 16, 2003)
A Short History of Computer Viruses and Attacks (washingtonpost.com, Feb 14, 2003)
_____Cyber-Security_____
Critics Question Impartiality of Panel Studying Privacy Rights (The Washington Post, Mar 11, 2005)
Hackers Target U.S. Power Grid (The Washington Post, Mar 11, 2005)
MBA Applicants Pay Price for Unauthorized Site Searches (The Washington Post, Mar 10, 2005)
More Security News

February 2000: A spate of distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks temporarily brings down several of the wo rld's largest and most popular portal and e-commerce sites. The attacks prompt congressional hearings and legislative proposals aime d at closing security holes and intensifying the hunt for cyber vandals.

May 2000: The Clinton administration dismantles the Y2K center. Some in Congress call for the appointment of a federal chief information officer -- or "cybersecurity czar" -- to oversee privacy and security issues.

May 2000: The "I Love You," or "Lovebug" virus wreaks havoc on commercial and government systems worldwide. The virus's author -- a Filipino computer science student -- escapes prosecution because the Philippines has no computer crime laws. The incident prompts the United States to push for and sign the Council of Europe Cybercrime Treaty, an attempt to harmonize laws against computer crimes.

Sept. 2000: Federal agencies' computer security systems get an overall grade of "D" from Rep. Horn.

Oct. 2001: President George W. Bush establishes the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, a group charged with developing a national cybersecurity strategy. The board begins soliciting advice from the private sector on ways to beef up the nation's computer security posture. Richard Clarke is named White House cybersecurity adviser.

Oct. 2001: The Bush administration begins holding town-hall meetings for input on its cybersecurity plan. Clarke warns of an impending "digital Pearl Harbor" if industry does not take steps to improve security.

Nov. 2001: Congress conducts its second annual review of computer security at federal agencies. The agencies get a collective "D-minus." The White House office of Management and Budget promises to withhold funding for federal IT programs that don't improve security.

Jan. 2002: CERT cites a 200 percent increase in computer security incidents and vulnerabilities from 2000 to 2001.


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