Website makes learning about cybersecurity fun

Thursday - 8/26/2010, 4:11pm EDT

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 the DorobekINSIDER with Chris Dorobek (3-7 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The Cybersecurity Update is brought to you by Tripwire.

  • Getting people interested in learning about cybersecurity seems to be half the battle. We've been talking with the winners of the Department of Homeland Security's 2010 Cyber Awareness Challenge. Will McGill and Anna Squicciarini are assistant professors of information sciences and technology at Penn State. Their winning entry - called "CyberLink IT Games" - turns learning about cybersecurity into something they hope will be fun.

  • We've learned that back in 2008 a network administrator's worst fear was realized by the Pentagon when an infected flash drive was inserted into a U.S. military laptop at a base in the Middle East. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn tells Foreign Affairs, the flash drive's malicious computer code, which was put there by a foreign intelligence agency, uploaded itself onto a network run by U.S. Central Command. That code then spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems. Lynn calls it the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever, but perhaps more importantly he says it served as an important wake-up call. He says, the Pentagon's counter-attack, named Operation Buckshot Yankee, marked a turning point in U.S. cyberdefense strategy. He warns that more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations are currently trying to hack into the digital networks that support U.S. military operations, and that every day, U.S. military and civilian networks are probed thousands of times. The Deputy Secretary says the Pentagon is now working with allied governments and private companies to prepare itself for future threats. An enormous amount of foundational work remains, he says, but initiatives are in place to better protect U.S. interests, such as the creation of the the new U.S. Cyber Command.

Check out all of Federal News Radio's coverage of cybersecurity issues here.