Cy­ber celebri­ties

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

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 ing@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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