U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces Partnership with Carnegie Mellon's CERT Coordination Center
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University's CERT® Coordination Center (CERT/CC) to create US-CERT, a coordination point for prevention, protection, and response to cyber attacks across the Internet.
The US-CERT will begin as a partnership between the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) within DHS and Carnegie Mellon's CERT/CC. The US-CERT will grow to include other partnerships with private-sector security vendors and domestic and international organizations. These groups will work together to coordinate national and international efforts to prevent cyber attacks, protect systems, and respond to the effects of cyber attacks across the Internet.
Carnegie Mellon's CERT/CC was formed in November 1988 within the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) after an Internet worm brought 10 percent of Internet-connected systems to a halt. The SEI is a federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon for the U.S. Department of Defense, the Software Engineering Institute's sponsor. CERT/CC also is affiliated with Carnegie Mellon's Cyber Security Laboratory.
Today, Carnegie Mellon's CERT/CC alerts U.S. industry and computer users worldwide to potential threats to the security of their systems and provides information about how to avoid, minimize, or recover from the damage. The center has played a key role in coordinating responses to major security events such as the Code Red worm, Melissa virus, and most recently the MS Blaster worm and the Sobig.F virus.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge called US-CERT "a key element to our national strategy to combat terrorism and protect our critical infrastructure."
"The recent cyber attacks such as the Blaster worm and the SoBig virus highlight the urgent need for an enhanced computer emergency response program that coordinates national efforts to cyber incidents and attacks," Ridge said.
Speaking at a briefing in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 15, Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon expressed enthusiasm for the partnership between the CERT/CC and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as its potential for future partnerships with industry and other universities.
"Carnegie Mellon is proud and pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Department of Homeland Security. We are committed to maintaining our longstanding leadership in cyber security and to building additional strength in this critical area," Cohon said.
"Our nation's growing use of the Internet for safety-critical applications as well as business transactions, coupled with the increased sophistication and speed of cyber-attacks increases the risk that cyber-attacks can cause significant damage in short periods of time" said Richard D. Pethia, director of the CERT/CC. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with DHS and other partners to aggressively and continually improve our nation's cyber-security incident response capability."
The Department of Homeland Security said that the creation of a US-CERT was the first in a series of upcoming announcements on new partnerships and initiatives within the National Cyber Security Division.
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