US CERT Director Randy Vickers Resigns
Apparently last Friday, the director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) Randy Vickers who was in charge since April 2009 abruptly resigned, presumably due to the numerous high profile successful attacks of late against U.S. government networks although this has not been confirmed. US-CERT is a department of DHS that was created in 2003 and is in charge defending against cyber attacks for the federal government’s IT infrastructure, it is modeled after the original CERT of Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute which was created by DARPA back in 1988.
Bobbie Stempfley, the acting assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications, is apparently the man who sent the copy of the resignation email out. An anonymous Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson has since confirmed the authenticity of the email however declined to give a reason as to why.
Stempfley went on to detail in the email that current CERT deputy director Lee Rock will serve as acting interim director until the DHS names a full time successor. “We are confident that our organization will continue its strong performance under his leadership,” he wrote.
The Directors sudden departure apparently couldn’t have come at a worse time for CERT and the US government who’s networks have been under routine attack and probing by various hacker and cracker outfits who have become almost a daily part of the mainstream media coverage. Targets ranging from the FBI, the US Navy, and the CIA all the way to various Federal contractors have all come under of attack and presumably remain on the target lists of many hackers.