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Obama watch

 

PODCAST: Check Point Software joins intelligence sharing alliance

By Byron V. Acohido

Barack Obama’s clarion call for wider sharing of threat intelligence is being heeded by a handful of top cybersecurity vendors.

I was in the audience at Stanford University in 2015 when President Obama signed a milestone executive order urging the corporate sector to dramatically advance the sharing of cyber attack intelligence among themselves and with the federal government.

Then last month, I was covering the giant RSA 2017 cybersecurity conference in San Francisco, when Obama’s longtime cybersecurity czar, J. Michael Daniel, was named as the new president of the rejuvenated Cyber Threat Alliance.

The idea for CTA came about a few years ago when senior executives from Fortinet, McAfee, …more

President Obama calls for sweeping new consumer privacy protections

By Byron V. Acohido

The White House has taken another step toward framing President Obama as the “privacy president.”  But it remains to be seen how assertively his administration will actually champion consumers’ rights in an age of unprecedented digital privacy invasion.

In a speech at the Federal Trade Commission today, President Obama stated the obvious: Identity theft is a growing problem, generating billions of dollars in commercial losses and posing risks to individuals that can “ruin your life.”

“This is a direct threat to the economic security of American families and we need to stop it,” Obama said. “If we are going to be connected, we need to be protected.”

More: Protecting your digital footprint in the post …more

Spying reforms seek to balance privacy, security

SEATTLE – President Obama this morning left all the major stakeholders tracking the debate over government spying slightly dissatisfied.

Given the complexity of the issues, some observers credited Obama for doing a commendable job of attempting to delicately balance privacy and national security.

“The public needs to understand that it’s a moving target given the rapid pace at which technology is developing,” says Stephen Cobb, senior researcher at antivirus vendor ESET. “The President likely failed to satisfy some people on different sides of the debate and that might be an indication he is taking the right steps, walking a fine line between competing ideals …more

Syria’s cyber retaliation signals new era of warfare

The latest disruption to U.S. media outlets dealt out by the Syrian Electronic Army may be a precursor for warfare in the digital age.

One aspect of the frontal assault that ought not be overlooked is the timing: The SEA, which supports strongman President Bashar al-Assad, knocked down websites of the New York Times, Huffington Post and Twitter, a few hours after US officials indicated the US may launch missile strikes against the Syrian government.

And now a person claiming to speak for the group has stepped forward to tie those attacks directly to the rising likelihood of U.S. military action …more

Tech giants ask Obama to help save cloud computing

SEATTLE – Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing escapades could seriously undermine the growth of cloud computing and thus stifle the growth models for America’s biggest tech companies.

And that appears to be the reason why Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and …more

Obama moves to counter CEOs resistance to cybersecurity rules

SEATTLE — How do you get busy chief executives from a cross section of industry giants into one room, on short notice, to discuss cybersecurity?

Have the U.S. Justice department disclose data theft of top celebrities, assign two top U.S. security officials to testify before Congress about rising cyber threats – and then ask the corporate captains to show up at the White House for a presidential briefing.

That’s what the Obama administration did this week – and it worked.

On Wednesday, 13 CEOs dutifully adjusted their busy schedules to travel to the White House Situation Room for what was described as a “two-way” exchange of …more

Cybersecurity experts react positively to executive order

With the ink barely dry on President Obama’s cybersecurity executive order, White House staff issued reactions from the security and privacy community, and response continues to reverberate this morning. Below are excerpts.

Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and Chairman of the Chertoff Group: “Today the President has taken a critical step in protecting America by addressing two vital aspects of cybersecurity; information sharing and development of a cybersecurity framework. These activities represent a down payment in the protection of our Nation’s cyber infrastructure.”

Kothari

Pravin Kothari, Founder & …more