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Fewer connections could limit cyber attacks, agency official says




Fewer connections could limit cyber attacks, agency official says
Fewer connections could limit cyber attacks, agency official says



http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=38817 

By Aliya Sternstein  
Technology Daily  
December 12, 2007

A Justice Department cyber-security official on Wednesday touted the 
government's strategy of reducing its number of Internet connections to 
50 by June in order to reduce cyber vulnerabilities.

The government's "Trusted Internet Connections" initiative, which was 
announced last month, will help protect information by shrinking the 
attack surface area -- or the number of access gateways that must be 
monitored, Mischel Kwon, the department's chief information technology 
security specialist, told a group of federal government IT 
professionals.

"This is an absolutely great, great program," Kwon said.

She said the effort cuts to the core of today's cyber-security problem: 
The basic threats are the same as they were in 2001, but the maneuvers 
are easier and more widespread. Kwon told the Association for Federal 
Information Resources Management that the threats are still hackers, 
"hacktivists," industrial spies, organized crime groups, terrorists and 
national governments.

But now, the fraudsters can easily create Internet viruses by reading 
how-to lessons on the Internet itself, said Kwon, who runs Justice's 
cyber-defense operation.

The most popular attack right now, she said, is "in by e-mail, out by 
Web." The culprits send a message embedded with a link, and then dupe 
the victim into clicking on the link to go to a separate Web page where 
they enter sensitive information or download malevolent software.

Once the exercise is complete, the intruder can enter the victims' 
networks, and "we're all in business," Kwon said.

She warned the audience not to assume that all such "phishing" e-mail 
messages have a misspelling "because it will fool everyone."


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