The Obama administration is turning to Hollywood for help with a major publicity campaign that was unveiled two weeks ago as part of efforts to protect cyberspace from attack.
The much anticipated Cyberspace Policy Review report warns that greater efforts are need to deal with “the growing threat of cybercrime and statesponsored intrusions and operations,” but contains no details on the two main sources of most cyber attacks: Russia and China.
The only examples listed of cyber attacks are CIA reports about attacks that have caused disruptions of electric power grids in multiple regions overseas; a cyber attack allowing fraudulent ATM withdrawals; and a data breach compromising 45 million credit cards.
The report calls for employing an effective communications strategy to increase public awareness of cyber risks.
“The federal government, in partnership with educators and industry, should conduct a national hypervelocity public awareness and education [campaign],” the report said.
The campaign will seek to educate the public to threats and promote “digital safety, ethics and security.”
“Celebrities, the generation that has grown up with the technology, and new types of media can play critical roles in delivering the message effectively,” the report said, noting that the campaign will be modeled on the past Smokey the Bear fire safety and Click It or Ticket seat-belt safety campaigns.
A White House spokesman had no immediate comment on the plans to use celebrities.
Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at insidether firstname.lastname@example.org.