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Homeland Security National
Cyber Alert System    
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[JAN. 29, 2004]  WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Wednesday the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security unveiled the National Cyber Alert System, an operational system delivering timely information that will help Americans take action to better secure their computer systems.

As part of this program, Homeland Security is making available a series of information products targeted for home users and technical experts in businesses and government agencies. These e-mail products will provide timely information on computer security vulnerabilities, potential effects and action required to mitigate threats, as well as PC security "best practices" and "how to" guidance.

"The president's 'National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace' provides a framework for the public and private sectors to work together to secure cyberspace," said Frank Libutti, under secretary of homeland security for information analysis and infrastructure protection. "The National Cyber Security Division's mission is to serve as a focal point for implementing the national strategy and protecting the American people."

"The development and initial operating capability of the National Cyber Alert System elevates awareness and helps improve America's IT security posture," said Amit Yoran, director of the National Cyber Security Division. "We are focused on making the threats and recommended actions easier for all computer users to understand, prioritize and act upon. We recognize the importance and urgency of our mission and are taking action."

Homeland Security National Cyber Alert System

This new National Cyber Alert System is America's first coordinated national cyber security system for identifying, analyzing and prioritizing emerging vulnerabilities and threats. Managed by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is a partnership between the National Cyber Security Division and the private sector, the National Cyber Alert System provides the first infrastructure for relaying graded computer security update and warning information to all users.

The system evolves from previous framework models such as CERT Coordination Center advisories and other similar efforts in the private sector. It provides information to help all citizens, from computer security professionals to home computer users with basic skills, to better secure their portion of cyberspace. The National Cyber Alert System provides credible and timely information on cyber security issues and allows the Department of Homeland Security to provide both technical and easy-to-understand information on a timely basis.


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What is offered? How do users subscribe?

The new National Cyber Alert System security suite of products includes:

  • Cyber security tips: Targeted at nontechnical home and corporate computer users, the biweekly tips provide information on best computer security practices, along with how-to information. How to access: Sign up at www.us-cert.gov.
  • Cyber security bulletins: Targeted at technical audiences, the bulletins provide biweekly summaries of security issues, new vulnerabilities, potential effects, patches and work-arounds, as well as actions required to mitigate risk. How to access: Sign up at www.us-cert.gov.
  • Cyber security alerts: Available in two forms -- regular for nontechnical users and advanced for technical users -- the alerts provide real-time information about security issues, vulnerabilities and exploits currently occurring. The security alerts encourage all users to take rapid action. How to access: Sign up at www.us-cert.gov

All information products are available on a free subscription basis and are delivered via push e-mail. Home users can also access the security tips and alerts from United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team affiliates, including StaySafe Online.

About the National Cyber Security Division

The National Cyber Security Division is part of information analysis and infrastructure protection in the Department of Homeland Security. The division is charged with coordinating the implementation of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and serves as the single national point of contact for the public and private sector regarding cyber security issues. The division is also charged with identifying, analyzing and reducing cyber threats and vulnerabilities; disseminating threat warning information; coordinating incident response; and providing technical assistance in continuity of operations and recovery planning. The division's emergency readiness team serves as a focal point, bridging public and private sector institutions, to advance computer security preparedness and response.

For more information visit www.us-cert.gov.

[Department of Homeland Security news release]

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