Nations seek swift response to cyberattacks
- By Diane Frank
- Jul 27, 2000
Many problems have occurred in sharing cyberattack information quickly and
accurately within the U.S. government, and the problems multiply in the
international arena, experts told Congress Wednesday.
"We are increasingly finding that our investigations lead us to foreign
countries where we have to seek the assistance of local law enforcement,"
said Michael Vatis, director of the National Infrastructure Protection Center,
testifying before the House Government Management, Information and Technology
"We have made a great deal of progress improving cooperation with local
law enforcement communities, but there is a long way to go," he said. "We're
going to need more cooperation with countries we haven't traditionally dealt
The biggest problem is the slow rate at which information is shared because
of a lack of consistent international policy, laws and technology, said
Ohad Genis, advocate and chief inspector at the Israel Police's National
Unit for Fraud Investigations, which has jurisdiction over national and
"What is needed is the establishment of a central organization that will
handle all requests for international assistance with online access," Genis
At times, those problems can cause delays that hamper investigations and
wind up harming the systems people are trying to protect, said Richard Schaeffer,
director of infrastructure and information assurance at the Office of the
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence.
"Today, it takes us, at best, hours to transition from detection to warning — at worst, this could be days — and the attacks are executed in milliseconds,"
he said. "We must develop the technology, capabilities, processes and legal
framework to respond to cyberevents in real time."
Organizations such as Interpol have the structure in place to facilitate
information sharing between countries, but a common basis of legislation,
policy and procedures is still needed, said Edgar Adamson, chief of Interpol's
U.S. National Central Bureau.