Cyber Attacks Force Increased Education

The Obama administration must do more to educate government Web 2.0 users on the risk of cyber attacks, say security experts.

They note that the government must not only step up educational efforts, but also conduct more thorough assessments of cyber risks to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities — rather than focusing so much on granting increased access to services.

Federal agencies that use the sites to share information with constituents also risk becoming targets of hackers seeking to disrupt such communications. The hackers who crashed Twitter and slowed the social networking site Facebook a couple weeks ago launched a denial-of-service attack that bombarded Websites with traffic in an effort to force them to shut down. At the same time, a new wave of a malicious computer worm began to send unique Twitter messages that tricked Windows users into downloading malicious software from a Facebook look-alike page, according to the computer security portal Viruslist.com.

Yet the government is almost forced to use collaborative Web 2.0 technologies to keep up with the times.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro noted in an e-mail to a government publication that the Obama administration believes “social media networks are an important and powerful tool for communicating with the American people and the rest of the world.” He also said cybersecurity is a major priority for Pres. Barack Obama, pointing to a recent White House review of cybersecurity policies and programs.

The Obama administration must do more to educate government Web 2.0 users on the risk of cyber attacks, say security experts.

They note that the government must not only step up educational efforts, but also conduct more thorough assessments of cyber risks to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities — rather than focusing so much on granting increased access to services.

Federal agencies that use the sites to share information with constituents also risk becoming targets of hackers seeking to disrupt such communications. The hackers who crashed Twitter and slowed the social networking site Facebook a couple weeks ago launched a denial-of-service attack that bombarded Websites with traffic in an effort to force them to shut down. At the same time, a new wave of a malicious computer worm began to send unique Twitter messages that tricked Windows users into downloading malicious software from a Facebook look-alike page, according to the computer security portal Viruslist.com.

Yet the government is almost forced to use collaborative Web 2.0 technologies to keep up with the times.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro noted in an e-mail to a government publication that the Obama administration believes “social media networks are an important and powerful tool for communicating with the American people and the rest of the world.” He also said cybersecurity is a major priority for Pres. Barack Obama, pointing to a recent White House review of cybersecurity policies and programs.

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