DHS officially assumes its new cyber role

Friday - 7/9/2010, 5:16pm EDT

WFED's Jason Miller

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Cybersecurity Update - Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris (6-10 a.m.) and DorobekInsider with Chris Dorobek (3-5 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • A new Office of Management and Budget memo delineates the specific roles and responsibilities for the White House Cyber Coordinator, the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Chief Information Officer. The policy gives DHS official oversight over all civilian agency computer networks.

  • You remember we told you about the soldier charged with downloading a huge amount of secret data from military computers in Iraq. It now turns out he may have been able to do it by exploiting a loophole in Defense Department security that allowed him to copy thousands of files onto compact discs over a period of about six months. The New York Times reports, in at least one instance 22-year-old Private-First-Class Bradley Manning was able to smuggle classified data out of his intelligence unit on a compact disc disguised as a Lady Gaga music CD. A Defense Department directive from 2008 prohibits the use of small thumb drives - or larger external memory devices - on any of the estimated seven million computers operated by the Pentagon and armed services. And, all Defense Department computers are supposed to have their portals disabled. But, the Pentagon directive did NOT ban the use of compact-disc devices. Manning now stands accused of downloading more than 150-thousand diplomatic cables, as well as secret videos, and a PowerPoint presentation.

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