William Jackson

Bill Jackson (, a senior writer for GCN, covers security issues.

Trust us, we're from the government

A new round of spam messages use DHS references in the subject lines to entice victims to malicious sites.

Old-fashioned tactics can still beat the botnets (sometimes)

Apparent recent successes by Microsoft and the federal government against persistent botnets show the effectiveness of tools such as lawsuits and cooperation among agencies in the battle against cyber crime.

FISMA: A good idea whose time never came

FISMA as originally written is not bad, but it hasn't reach its potential because overly broad requirements have created a scramble for regulatory compliance. But there are good ideas available on how to fix the law.

How can we be at cyberwar if we don't know what it is?

Before plunging into a Cold-War style cyber arms race with our online enemies, the United States needs to decide just exactly what cyberwar is, who should fight it and how to do it.

P2P file sharing could leave you with your slip showing

The recent announcement by the FTC that sensitive information from nearly 100 organizations had been compromised through peer-to-peer file-sharing networks underscores the risks of this technology.

Blizzard shows infrastructure's hidden strength — it fails

Our critical infrastructure is not a finely tuned, well-oiled machine. And for that, we can be grateful. We are so used to patching it up and finding workarounds that shutting it down proves difficult.

Which country is most feared as a cyber threat? Guess again.

The United States is the most feared nation in the world as the source of potential cyberattacks, according to an international study.

Lack of trust still hinders public/private security efforts

Although the private and public sectors agree on the need to share information for the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure, each believes the other is holding out.

Google-NSA partnership should be more public, less private

We need better public-private partnerships to secure cyberspace, but if these partnerships are to serve the public interest, they must be as public as they are private.

Forget the money: Congress should allocate radio frequency band for public safety

The unallocated valuable radio frequency real estate could be best put to use as part of a nationwide public safety network. Congress should let FCC combine it with the existing public safety spectrum, says columnist William Jackson.

A new wrinkle in Nigerian e-mail scams

For just a small fee, you too can have an opportunity to retrieve Nigerian funds belonging to the alleged Christmas Day bomber.

A call for critical thinking about securing our electric grid

The nation’s electric power grid is a vital part of our critical infrastructure, but it might not be as vulnerable and fragile as it appears. One expert says it is more resilient than we give it credit for.

Water companies wait for someone else to take the plunge on smart metering

Advanced, networked meters offer the potential for conservation and money savings, but utilities are hesitant to be on the cutting edge of this evolving technology.

Why not use a supercomputer to process health care records?

The U.S. government operates the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Using some of that power to process government health care records would be difficult to set up, but the benefits could be worth it, says William Jackson.

The weakest link in anti-terror systems

President Obama described recent failures in anti-terrorism efforts as systemic. But they were not failures of systems; they were failures of human beings using the systems.

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