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Biden hires world-class cybersecurity team

 


President Joe Biden has appointed a group of national security veterans with deep cyber experience.

The move has drawn praise from former defense officials and investigators as the U.S. government recovers from one of the largest hacks by its agencies attributed to Russian spies.

Cybersecurity declined during the Trump administration when it suspended the white house's cybersecurity coordinator.

The administration also trimmed the State Department's cyber diplomacy wing, expelling federal cybersecurity chief Chris Krebs in the wake of Donald Trump's November 3 election defeat.

The hack was revealed in December, targeting eight federal agencies and several companies, including software provider SolarWinds.

U.S. intelligence agencies have publicly attributed the breach to Russian government agencies, and Moscow has denied involvement.

Under a newly passed law, Biden must open an Internet-focused office that reports to the new national cyber director, who coordinates the federal government's massive cyber capabilities.

Jen Easterly is the leading candidate for cyber director, a former senior official at the National Security Agency.

Easterly now works for investment banking firm Morgan Stanley, previously held several senior intelligence positions in the Obama administration, and helped establish u.S. Electronic Command, the nation's top cyber warfare unit.

"The Biden administration has appointed world-class cybersecurity experts to leadership positions," Microsoft Vice President Tom Burt said in a statement.

However, some observers are concerned that the group's collective experience is almost entirely public, and this distinction is important because the vast majority of The Internet infrastructure in the United States is owned and managed by U.S. companies.

"Finding a good balance with both government and business expertise will be critical to success," said Amit Yoran, former director of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security.

Biden plans to nominate Rob Silvers, who also served in the Obama administration, to become director of the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency, a position held by Chris Krebs.

Biden's National Security Council, the White House arm that guides the administration's security priorities, has five officials with expertise in cybersecurity.

The appointments are led by senior national security agency official Anne Neuberger as deputy national security adviser for electronic and emerging technology, a new position designed to raise the issue internally.

Neuberger became one of the NSA's most prominent figures in recent years after leading the spy agency's cyber defense wing.

She was praised for quickly alerting companies to hacking techniques used by other countries.

Other appointments include Michael Sulmeyer, Michael Sulmeyer, Elizabeth Sherwood Randall, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Russ Travers, and Caitlin Durkovich.
 

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