Friday, February 18, 2011

So how's that cybersecurity effort going, Mr. Toews?

That picture is from Vic Toews' Sunday afternoon cybersecurity public relations event back on October 3, 2010. Remember that? The cybersecurity issue is so important to this government, it warranted a sleepy Sunday afternoon press conference. Rather unfortunate photo-op now, isn't it? Now we're in the midst of news from the past two days (that has actually been circulating for a few weeks now) about a cyber attack against government systems of Chinese origin: "Foreign hackers attack Canadian government,"Chinese hackers targeted House of Commons."

The talking points were deployed, to downplay the attack. Here were Harper and Toews yesterday, Harper with his new, perfected dulcet tones:
But he said at a press conference in Toronto that he recognized cybersecurity was "a growing issue of importance, not just in this country, but across the world."

He added that in anticipating potential cyberattacks, "we have a strategy in place to try and evolve our systems as those who would attack them become more sophisticated."

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he could not speak about details pertaining to security-related incidents, but he said the government takes such threats seriously and has "measures in place" to address them.
Yep, go to sleep. Nothing, really, bothers these guys. Cyber attacks are everywhere, not just in this country. Isn't that comforting? And frankly, they have a strategy in place. The Harper government strategy is so successful, in fact, that the computers of Treasury Board, Finance and National Defence have been attacked and the hackers "also cracked into the computer system of the House of Commons." See the video report from CBC below, which reports the hackers "trolled government networks for weeks without a trace" for example. And this expert: "...even in just a few seconds, if it was properly targeted — and it sounds like it was targeted — information of immense value could have been exchanged." It's a heck of a strategy.

No effect on the budget? No information lost pertinent to it? How can they be so sure? Imagine if the day after it's released there were to be some interesting market moves. Total speculation, but it's something to think about. How the government acts now in respect of the budget is something to watch.

Other points...

A whopping $90 million has been allocated over five years to this task, allotted in the 2010 budget, aka less than one year's worth of promotional advertising for the Harper government.

What's been done prior to and since Toews' hastily arranged Sunday October news conference? Inquiring minds would like to know. Much of anything? Or did the government just have the event so they could point to it in the event of an attack and say, see, we have a strategy we rolled out and we told you this was an issue back in the fall.

These characters like to say they're the tough on crime/law and order crowd. Lots of money to build brick and mortar jails, just like it's the 1950s. But this, as they say in the online community, looks like a big fail.

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