DHS network broadcasts cyberthreat warnings

DHS network broadcasts cyberthreat warnings

The Homeland Security Department has fielded a network that lets government and industry groups swap information about cyberattacks and other systems threats.

The Cyber Warning and Information Network has about 30 nodes connecting agencies and companies. The current CWIN topology is based on industry-specific user groups linked by information sharing and analysis centers, which were set up over the past two years to provide cyberalerts.

Government officials eventually hope to bring state and local agencies and first responders onto CWIN as well, said Paul Kurtz, special assistant to the president and senior director for critical infrastructure protection for the White House's Homeland Security Council.

The network, which supports voice and data transmission, will continue to expand with more companies joining next month, Kurtz said. Already, it has stretched beyond its original membership of just federal watch centers, he said.

'We've been hearing a lot of talk about how we need to share information between the private sector and federal government,' Kurtz said. 'CWIN is the guinea pig.'

The project reflects a chief goal of the Bush administration's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. The National Cyber Security Division, a month-old arm of Homeland Security's Infrastructure Protection Office, oversees the strategy.

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