Bush Pushes to Redirect Funds into Cybersecurity

By Matthew Harwood

The U.S. government's IT vulnerabilities have led President Bush to ask that Congress redirect $152 million into cybersecurity programs for 2008, reports

Reporter Jason Miller notes this newfound urgency to protect the United States against cyberattacks comes after Estonia experienced a major denial-of-service attack in April, and after repeated intrustions into the U.S. Department of Defense's unclassified network.

Bush wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requesting that existing funding at the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation be redirected to bolster these agencies' cybersecurity programs.

President Bush wants more than two-thirds of the $152 million sum go to a program called "Einstein."

The president asked for $115 million to enhance DHS' ability to implement the Einstein program administered by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. Einstein monitors about 13 participating agencies’ network gateways for traffic patterns that indicate the presence of computer worms or other unwanted traffic.

“The funding will also increase our investigative capabilities [and] reduce multiple access points and points of vulnerability while ensuring government cyber centers stay connected and focused on detecting potential attacks,” said Jeff Carter, a spokesman at DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate.

Allan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, told Miller that the $152 million Bush seeks is merely for public consumption and that the rest will be in "the black budget, which is secret."


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