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[ISN] Howard Schmidt returns to DHS as USCERT head



Forwarded from: Richard Forno <rforno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

http://www.securityfocus.com/news/9660

By Ted Bridis
The Associated Press 
Oct 6 2004 

Howard Schmidt, a highly regarded technology executive who was former
special adviser to President Bush for cybersecurity, is returning to
work with the Homeland Security Department on efforts to protect the
nation's computer networks.

Schmidt, the chief security officer for eBay Inc., will be named
chairman of the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team, an organization
jointly run by the Homeland Security Department and private technology
groups, including Carnegie Mellon University. He will work with the
technology industry on U.S. cybersecurity policies.

The announcement was expected Monday in San Francisco, according to
officials who met Wednesday for a briefing about the announcement with
Schmidt and Robert Liscouski, an assistant secretary at the Homeland
Security Department. The officials spoke only on condition of
anonymity, noting the DHS announcement was next week.

Schmidt, who will be paid through Carnegie Mellon as a government
contractor, was expected to remain at eBay. As Bush's former special
adviser, Schmidt helped create the administration's "National Strategy
to Secure Cyberspace," a set of dozens of recommendations to better
protect computer networks.

"It's great he's willing to come back to public service," said Harris
Miller, head of the Information Technology Association of America, a
leading trade group.

Last week, the Bush administration's top U.S. cybersecurity official,
Amit Yoran, resigned abruptly as director of the National Cyber
Security Division within DHS. The office to be headed by Schmidt is
the operational arm of that division, which has an $80 million budget
and 60 employees.

Liscouski has appointed Donald A. "Andy" Purdy, Yoran's former deputy,
as acting director of the division. In an e-mail from Liscouski to DHS
employees obtained by The Associated Press, Lisouski said Purdy was
"highly regarded for his technical expertise and is well-known to the
cyber community both in the private and government sectors."

Schmidt declined to comment when contacted by the AP, referring
inquires to DHS.

Schmidt formerly was chief security officer at Microsoft Corp. before
coming to work for the White House. He succeeded Richard Clarke, a
former senior counterterrorism adviser to President Bush who quit and
wrote a book containing scathing criticisms of the administration's
response to terrorism.



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