September 11 network performance foreshadows surge vulnerability
| 08.02.2006 | 05:36:27 | Views: 2767 | ID:
August 2 '06: Public demand for 9-11 footage has caused a cyber-gridlock on the government site hosting the information and videos according to the Richmond Times Dispatch in Virginia. Following the release of exhibits shown during the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, videos showing sometimes grizzly footage of the attacks would take close to 20 minutes to download, but the gridlock has caused the servers to clog denying people access to the information.
The server failure has larger ramifications - network shut down created by demand surge is one way hackers and potential cyber-terrorists can damage government computer networks. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security said efforts at reinforcing federal networks are essential so that the best-practices created can be used to help secure state, local and private sector networks.Earlier in the year, more than 115 experts from the international, federal, state and local levels along with private sector organizations and companies cooperated in Cyber Storm, the first full-scale cyber security exercise "to examine response, coordination, and recovery mechanisms to simulate a cyber-event." To help with a federal response, DHS has also created the United States Computer Emergency Response Team in 2003. US-CERT "coordinates defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation." Poor performance has beleaguered the department in the past. But Undersecretary for Preparedness George Foresman said in the Cyber Storm press release, "Preparedness against a cyber attack requires partnership and coordination between all levels of government and the private sector." When asked about possible remedies for the internet gridlock stemming from the demand for the Moussaoui trial videos, Richmond officials said they would provide more bandwidth for the server to allow for more people to access the websites.
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