Obama setting up better security for computers

May 29, 2009 By LOLITA C. BALDOR , Associated Press Writer
President Barack Obama returns a salute as arrives on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 28, 2009. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP) -- America has for too long failed to adequately protect the security of its computer networks, President Barack Obama said Friday, announcing he will name a new cyber czar to take on the job.

Surrounded by a host of government officials, aides and corporate executives, Obama said this is a "transformational moment" for the country, where computer networks are probed and attacked millions of times a day.

"We're not as prepared as we should be, as a government or as a country," he said, calling cyber threats one of the most serious economic and military dangers the nation faces.

He said he will soon pick the person he wants to head up a new White House office of , and that person will report to the National Security Council as well as to the National Economic Council, in a nod to the importance of computers to the economy.

While the newly interconnected world offers great promise, Obama said it also presents significant peril as well. The president declared: "Cyberspace is real, and so is the risk that comes with it."

Laying out a broad five-point plan, the president said the U.S. needs to provide the education required to keep pace with technology and attract and retain a cyber-savvy work force. He called for a new education campaign to raise public awareness of the challenges and threats related to cyber security.

He assured the business community, however, that the government will not dictate how private industry should tighten digital defenses.

Government officials have grown increasingly alarmed as U.S. computer networks are constantly assailed by attacks and scams, ranging from nuisance hacking to more nefarious probes and attacks, including suspicions of cyber espionage by other nations, such as China.

Obama noted that his own computer system for the presidential campaign at one point last year was compromised by hackers, but said the security of the names and financial information on contributors was intact.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US senators call for cybersecurity czar

Apr 01, 2009

Two US senators introduced legislation on Wednesday aimed at creating a powerful national cybersecurity advisor who would report directly to the president.

'New arms race' taking shape in cyberspace: Van Loan

May 27, 2009

A "new arms race" is taking shape in cyberspace, Canada's security czar said Wednesday, lamenting ever bolder and more sophisticated attacks on government websites by Russia, China and others.

Pentagon spends $100 million to fix cyber attacks

Apr 07, 2009

(AP) -- The Pentagon spent more than $100 million in the last six months responding to and repairing damage from cyber attacks and other computer network problems, military leaders said Tuesday.

Report: US cyber warfare needs oversight, debate

Apr 30, 2009

(AP) -- Shrouded in secrecy, the U.S. government's policies on how and when to wage cyber warfare are ill-formed, lack adequate oversight and require a broad public debate, a new report by the National Research Council says.

US adviser says cybersecurity must be joint effort

Apr 23, 2009

(AP) -- The challenge of protecting the government's computer networks is too big for any one agency to handle alone, a top adviser to President Barack Obama said Wednesday. That suggests the administration doesn't intend ...

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CyberRat
not rated yet May 29, 2009
I wonder how much this "great" idea will cost, as its just easy to NOT connect (read: hard wire) vital systems to the Internet. Of course we are all lazy and enjoy the use of VPN and remote system management, but whats worse, keep someone standby local near a closed system, or risk hackers turn off the power net of half the country. (and i know they already have people working 24/7 at such systems.)