The disclosure of National Security Agency secrets by 29-year-old computer systems technician Edward Snowden is drawing new scrutiny of security processes and U.S. intelligence agencies’ reliance on contractors such as Snowden’s employer, Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.
Among defense contractors, QinetiQ North America is known for spy-world connections and an eye- popping product line. Its contributions to national security include secret satellites, drones, and software used by U.S. special forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
The U.S. is invoking Cold War-era national-security powers to force telecommunication companies including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to divulge confidential information about their networks in a hunt for Chinese cyber-spying.
Efforts by Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. to be excluded from U.S. cybersecurity rules may become moot under a European Commission proposal that could force them to report attacks and make their products more secure.
President Barack Obama must take tougher actions than those specified so far to deter cyber attacks on vital computer networks, including freezing offenders’ assets or denying them entry into the U.S., cybersecurity experts said.
A blackout that swept parts of North America in August 2003, leaving 50 million people in the dark for as long as four days, provides a glimpse of the havoc a cyber attack could inflict on the nation’s power grid.
Companies including utilities, banks and phone carriers would have to spend almost nine times more on cybersecurity to prevent a digital Pearl Harbor from plunging millions into darkness, paralyzing the financial system or cutting communications, a Bloomberg Government study found.
Daniel Mudd, the former chief executive officer of Fannie Mae, and Richard Syron, ex-CEO of Freddie Mac, were sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for understating by hundreds of billions of dollars the subprime loans held by the firms.
The House Intelligence Committee will add privacy safeguards to a cybersecurity proposal in an effort to win support of President Barack Obama and other lawmakers, the panel’s top Republican and Democrat said.