by Robert David Steele
Tuesday, 09 February 2010
It's time to get real about cybersecurity
I am quite certain that a careful examination of all extant SOWs would reveal a degree of obscurity and incoherence confirming that the US Government is engaged in a massive collective self-deception and entertaining bids for vaporware amidst a climate of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), the latter a tactic of rhetoric and fallacy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics and propaganda.
In my judgment, informed by consultation with a few colleagues and a simple review of the open record, there are fewer than 100 people in the USA who could be called legitimate cybernauts and are qualified for appropriate security clearances.
Below is a table of the top eight US centers on cybersecurity (research-wise) with the observation that not a single one of them is on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) list of “centers of excellence.
How many of them work at the code level? Out of the 213 faculty, and 191 PhD candidates, only 25 faculty and 38 PhD candidates are doing advanced and seriously interesting research at the code-level (in cybersecurity only – I didn't count other forms of code research). So the army for the coming war to be funded at $12 billion a year is: 63. How much cheaper would it be to simply pay them directly and give them a few million each to nurture both US and foreign students with a gift for code?
These constitute the “lower code” level of warfare where it really matters. However, only 20 percent of them are working on counter-offensive research (that's 12 people for a population of 300 million, never mind the global grid we depend on). Twelve people. I do not make this stuff up!
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