Richard Clarke sets tone for Black Hat 2007

Clarke uses opportunity to promote new book and criticize his former boss, President Bush.

In his keynote speech, Richard Clarke, novelist and chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, called for the adoption of IPv6 and the National Cyber Security Plan that President Bush signed in 2002 but has never implemented. While promoting his new novel, Breakpoint, the former National Security Council counterterrorism chief also took a few digs at former boss President Bush during a 30-minute speech.

"We are building more and more of an economy on cyberspace 1.0," Clarke told Black Hat attendees Wednesday morning. "Yet we still are running code from major vendors replete with errors that can be used to cause damage." Clarke, who gave the keynote speech at Black Hat in 2001, resurfaced an idea of his to have national standards for software. That proposal was removed from the National Cyber Security Plan that went to President Bush.

"We still do not have, and could have, cyberspace authenticated," said Clarke. "We should all be using encryption," which he said would reduce instances of laptops containing Social Security numbers being stolen. If they were all encrypted, we wouldn't care. He further suggested that encryption be used on e-mail, databases, even telephone calls to prevent illegal wiretapping.

Clarke leveled the harshest language on the Bush administration. "The Bush administration has systematically reduced the work to secure cyberspace." Clarke cited recent cuts to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as an example. While he doesn't believe that government is the solution--it is just a part of the solution--he said he thinks government helps set the tone. He said he thinks Bush is "setting an example how not to do cybersecurity."

 

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