Computer security's higher profile is the bright side of work on Y2K

Computer security's higher profile is the bright side of work on Y2K

LAS VEGAS'The silver lining to year 2000 problems is increased awareness of computer security, senior federal officials said at this month's Black Hat Briefings.

'I think Y2K has made people more aware of dependencies and vulnerabilities,' said Jeffrey A. Hunker, the National Security Council's senior director for infrastructure protection. 'I think it's been very positive.'

The third annual conference drew about 650 people, more than double last year's attendance, and organizers said the increase in government attendance was proportional to the overall increase.

One visitor, who works for the chief of naval operations and asked not to be named, said the Pentagon has taken 2000 work as an opportunity to improve overall security.

Forward thinking

'To their credit, they're looking beyond Y2K,' he said. 'It has forced them to ask, 'What if something happens on Jan. 1?' and [to work on] how they can distinguish a genuine year 2000 problem from an intrusion or exploitation hiding under cover of date faults. It's been a valuable exercise.'

'William Jackson

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