RealTime IT News

US-CERT to Coordinate Cyberattack Response

With cybersecurity issues dominating the headlines, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of a new unit serve as a coordination point for prevention, protection and response to Internet attacks.

The new US-CERT unit is part of a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University's CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC). The DHS said private-sector security vendors and domestic and international organizations would be added to the unit in the future.

"These groups will work together to coordinate national and international efforts to prevent cyber attacks, protect systems, and respond to the effects of cyber attacks across the Internet," the DHS said in a statement.

The launch of the new unit comes on the same day the White House appointed Symantec VP Amit Yoran to be its new cybersecurity czar. Yoran will be responsible for implementing the administration's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, a report issued by the White House in February that depends more on private industry cooperation than government mandates and regulations.

At a briefing in Washington, D.C. Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge described US-CERT as "a key element to our national strategy to combat terrorism and protect our critical infrastructure."

"The recent cyber attacks such as the Blaster worm and the SoBig virus highlight the urgent need for an enhanced computer emergency response program that coordinates national efforts to cyber incidents and attacks," Ridge added.

The federally funded Carnegie Mellon's CERT/CC acts as a clearing house for security alerts for the IT industry. It has played a key role in coordinating responses to major threats like the Code Red worm, Melissa virus, and most recently the MS Blaster worm and the Sobig.F virus.