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October 21, 2009
9:49 am
From SC Magazine, on the Secretary's cyber address:

In a live web address Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said cybersecurity is a shared responsibility among consumers, the private sector and government, but a cabinet-level position dedicated to technology and cybersecurity is not needed.

During her speech, Napolitano reiterated statements made by President Obama in May, that the nation's digital networks are a strategic asset and that "cyberspace is real and so are the risks that come with it."

Addressing and mitigating cyberthreats is an urgent national security priority, she said. But cybersecurity is not the responsibility of one person or group since no one person is in charge of the internet. Cybersecurity, rather, is a responsibility that everyone must take on.

"Just as with our nation's preparedness for natural disasters or terrorist attacks, our nation's cybersecurity is a shared responsibility," Napolitano said.

During a short question-and-answer session during her web address, Napolitano was asked whether she thinks technology and cybersecurity should have a place in the president's cabinet.

From GovInfoSecurity, on the Secretary's remarks regarding the department's new hiring authority:

Sounding a lot like Uncle Sam recruiting soldiers for the Army, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a webcast Tuesday pitched a career as a cyber professional at DHS, with the call "your nation needs you."

Napolitano, the highest ranking and most visible champion of cybersecurity in the Obama administration, reminded her web audience that DHS has been given expedited hiring authority to bring aboard 1,000 skilled IT security experts over the next three years. "And here is our message to those professionals and future-professionals: Not only does DHS want you, your nation needs you. We need our best and brightest, our finest computer scientists and engineers, mathematicians and innovative thinkers."

From the Corpus Christi Caller Times, on Texas-size pot bust:

More than 11,700 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $9.3 million was seized by border patrol in eight unrelated cases.

The most significant was Saturday morning at the checkpoint south of Falfurrias, where agents discovered 366 bundles of marijuana weighing 8,451 pounds hidden inside a vacuum tanker.Thursday, agents found 117 bundles, with a total weight of 2,972 pounds, inside moving boxes in a tractor-trailer.

Leadership Events
9:30 AM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will testify about monitoring the nation’s response to H1N1 before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks about her broad agenda and major responsibilities for DHS
The George Washington University Law School
Room LL101
2000 H Street NW
Washington, D.C.

Public Events
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will deliver remarks about the importance of social media for effective governance at the Military Communications Conference 2009
Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center
1 Seaport Lane
Boston Mass.

11 AM Local
National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver keynote remarks at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Conference
Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET

12:45 PM EDT
NPPD Under Secretary Rand Beers will deliver the keynote address at the Homeland Security Investor Conference
Ritz-Carlton Hotel
1150 22nd Street NW
Washington, D.C.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 20, 2009
4:41 pm

Earlier today, I addressed a live web audience to talk about our nation’s shared responsibility for our cybersecurity. President Obama has been speaking regularly on this important issue, and has described the growing number of attacks on our networks as “one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces.”

My remarks today were a chance to speak clearly and candidly about what cybersecurity really means for our nation, and to expand on the shared responsibility we all have for online security. You can view the remarks below.


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The full transcript is also available.

As I mention in my remarks, you can read more about our Department’s cyber efforts, and find cyber security job opportunities at DHS.Gov/Cyber. We plan to host more online events like this in the future, and will in the coming days post answers to many of the excellent questions that viewers submitted during the address.

Yours very truly,
Janet Napolitano



Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 20, 2009
11:00 am
UPDATE: Oct. 23rd, 11:15 a.m. The full video of the live stream has been posted on our Leadership Journal.

UPDATE: 1 :30 p.m. We will be posting the taped video of the Secretary's remarks later today. Thanks to everyone for your participation and for the terrific questions.

Head over to our LIVE page now to watch Secretary Napolitano deliver remarks on cybersecurity.

You can also submit questions for the Secretary during her address.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 20, 2009
10:08 am

From the Boston Globe, about the appointment of the deputy administrator of FEMA:


Richard Serino, the longtime chief of Boston Emergency Medical Services, was officially sworn in yesterday as deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the agency's number two post.

Serino, 55, was nominated to the position in July by President Obama and will serve during a critical time for the country's homeland security operations. In his new role, he will help design emergency response plans for major cities across the country and manage responses to disasters, ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks.

From the Miami Herald, about the first doses of the H1N1 vaccine in Florida:

Eight-year-old Bryan Lechuga was unimpressed when the nurse pushed the syringe up his nose to deliver one of South Florida's first doses of vaccine against H1N1 swine flu on Monday.

Did the dose, delivered as a mist,


Did it tickle?`


Does he know what swine flu is?'


His mom knew, however, as did the moms of more than 50 students who showed up at Broadmoor Elementary in Miami-Dade County and at six public schools in Broward on Monday for the first day of vaccinations of the newly arrived H1N1 vaccine.

School-age children will get most of the first shipment of vaccines in South Florida, and remaining doses will go to private physicians and federal and county health clinics for those who are most at risk: pregnant women; caretakers of infants under 5 months of age; young people 2 to 24; people 25 to 64 who have chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes; and healthcare workers, emergency personnel and other first responders.



Secretary's Events
Secretary Napolitano will deliver a special Web-only address about cybersecurity via live streaming video at

Public Events
FEMA National Preparedness Directorate Deputy Administrator Timothy Manning will testify about caring for the elderly, children and individuals with special needs before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 19, 2009
6:12 pm
So here's a first...

Tune in tomorrow to at 11:00 AM EDT for an exclusive live address from Secretary Napolitano on cybersecurity. We will broadcast her remarks at, and you can submit a question for the Secretary to answer during her address.

The Secretary will talk about our shared responsibility for staying safe online, and the department's leadership role in cybersecurity.

Check it out tomorrow at 11:00 AM EDT.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 19, 2009
10:40 am
From PC World, on a message from President Obama on cybersecurity:

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Americans to help guard against cyberattacks in a first-of-its-kind video published on the White House Web site.

"Our digital networks are critical to our national security, our military superiority and public safety. But that dependence also makes us vulnerable to cyberattack from those who would do us harm," Obama said in the video.

He called the threat of cyberattacks one of the most serious economic and national security challenges faced by the U.S., and urged businesses and individuals to take greater care online.

Obama said he will "soon" appoint a cybersecurity coordinator to lead a new government office responsible for making sure that defending the country's networks becomes a national security priority.

From the Long Beach Press-Telegram, on a big marijuana seizure in Mission Viejo:

More than $500,000 worth of marijuana was seized on Interstate 5 in Mission Viejo and a driver from Mexico was arrested, the U.S. Border Patrol announced today.

The 839.52 pounds of marijuana affected the way the 2002 Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle was handling, drawing the attention of Border Patrol agents, an agency official said.

Agents first spotted the vehicle northbound on the freeway near San Clemente, the official said.

The agents stopped the vehicle about 2 p.m. in Mission Viejo near the Oso Parkway exit. The agents could see large bundles of marijuana as they approached the car, the official said.

From the Associated Press, on a new cyber-crime task force in Missouri:

The Secret Service launched a new task force Friday aimed at bolstering efforts to stop cyber-crime in St. Louis and eastern Missouri.

More than 100 people, mostly law enforcement officials, attended a meeting to launch the Gateway Electronic Crimes Task Force.

The Secret Service office in St. Louis will oversee the task force, one of nearly 30 around the country.

John Large of the Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division said cyber-crime has grown far beyond the days when teenage hackers would break into a system just to see if they could do it. Today, organized criminal groups are breaking into financial systems. And many of the criminals are based overseas.

Public Events
10:30 AM EDT
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate will swear in Richard Serino as FEMA Deputy Administrator
The Great Hall
2nd Floor, Faneuil Hall
Congress Street at North Street
Boston, Mass.

11:00 AM CDT
Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Bart R. Johnson will participate in a panel discussion about information and intelligence sharing at the GEOINT 2009 Symposium
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Ballroom A
200 East Market Street
San Antonio, Texas

3:30 PM CDT
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will participate in a public meeting of the Ocean Policy Task Force
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas & Entergy IMAX Theater
1 Canal Street
New Orleans, La.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 15, 2009
3:38 pm
Whether it’s age, walk of life, ethnicity or nationality—everyone is at risk. Department of Homeland Security has a responsibility to ensure that every community has equal access to our messages during a disaster, and that every individual can find public information during a crisis.

Today, Secretary Janet Napolitano applauded FEMA’s redesigned Spanish-language website. Located at, the newly redesigned site helps fulfill Secretary Napolitano’s commitment to openness and accessibility in our efforts to build a culture of readiness and resilience across the nation.

The redesigned site provides easier access to and expanded information about current disasters, preparedness, and a Spanish-language version of FEMA’s National Emergency Family Registry and Locator systems at – a site to help family members locate each other during a crisis.

We spent September talking about what to do before something happens. Now we need to ask the question, “¿Estan Preparados?”

Check out the new site, and tell your friends and loved ones.

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 14, 2009
11:07 am
From the Los Angeles Times, on Secretary Napolitano’s visit to the Cyber Crimes Center:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano got a firsthand look Tuesday at how her agency, which defends the nation's physical borders, also guards a volatile virtual frontier: cyberspace.

Napolitano visited the Cyber Crimes Center, which is operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a discreet office building in suburban Virginia. Known as C3, the 12-year-old unit has a staff of 35 who use their computer expertise to assist investigations of complex international crimes, especially those that victimize children.

"Cyber can be awfully abstract, but the Internet has become the new medium by which crimes are committed -- child pornography, sex tourism, exploitation," Napolitano said.

The visit was part of Napolitano's effort to promote her department's designation of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Homeland Security Department has been working to boost resources and expertise in response to a surge in Internet crime.

From the Brownsville Herald, on Customs and Border Protection on a CBP seizure at the border:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a man and a woman from Matamoros after they tried to drive a car with more than $400,000 in cocaine hidden inside, officials said.

Jesus Antonio Orozco, 22, and Gabriela Nazareth Montalvo, 18, were arrested Monday afternoon at B&M International Bridge, said A CBP press release.

On Tuesday morning, Orozco and Montalvo went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio, who ordered they be held without bond and remanded them to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The arrests took place after a white 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Orozco was sent to a secondary inspection area, records show.

CBP officers noted discrepancies on the walls of the vehicle and five packages containing 13 pounds of cocaine were hidden inside, the release said.

Public Events

Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute will join FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Transportation Security Administration Acting Assistant Secretary Gale Rossides, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chief David Aguilar and U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to testify about diversity at DHS before the House Committee on Homeland Security
311 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

NPPD Director for Software Assurance Joe Jarzombek will deliver remarks about secure coding at the SC World Congress and Expo
Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers
811 7th Avenue
New York, N.Y.

CBP Associate Chief Alan Langford, Sector Chief Randy Hill and Patrol Agent in Charge David Lamascus will participate in a media availability to officially unveil Uvalde Border Patrol Station’s new all-weather checkpoint
Uvalde Checkpoint
U.S. Highway 90, 9 miles west of Uvalde
Uvalde, Texas

NPPD Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications Gregory Schaffer will deliver remarks highlighting National Cybersecurity Awareness Month at the “Cyber Security West: Our Shared Responsibility” conference
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel1230 J StreetCamellia/Gardenia RoomSacramento, Calif.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 13, 2009
4:02 pm
Secretary Napolitano appeared on ABC’s The View and the Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart yesterday, where she discussed H1N1, preparedness, and a number of other topics.

It's clear that Americans have questions about H1N1. Who should receive the vaccine? Is it safe?

The secretary addressed those issues during her interviews:
"This is a bad flu, and it's a very safe vaccine, so under any analysis, you should go ahead and get the vaccine."

Check out video of the interviews at and, and head over to for more information on the vaccine.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 13, 2009
10:55 am

Cross-posted from the White House Blog

In my last blog post, I linked to President Obama’s proclamation announcing the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This week, I would like to discuss in more detail the cyber threats that we are facing as a Nation and as individuals. A key theme for this month is that cybersecurity is "our shared responsibility." Each one of us must take the time to increase our awareness of the cyber risks that are present every time we turn on our computers.

Just the other day, the media was breaking a story about the latest generation of malicious software designed to steal money from bank accounts. This "bank Trojan," called URLzone provides a sophisticated interface for managing theft from numerous accounts and deceives the account owner with false statements.

For years, research institutions have noted a steady increase in number of malicious programs that are being used to exploit the vulnerabilities of our computers. A vast percentage of all e-mail is spam, which tries to lure us into downloading software, visiting an infected website or social networking account, or even making a phone call in order to get us to reveal information useful for identity theft or to steal money. Many of these malicious actors are now sending out fake emails from the Internal Revenue Service.

Sophisticated cyber criminals are bypassing individual computer users and are attacking financial institutions. To them, the motivation is simple. Why steal one bank account record when you can steal millions? Fortunately, our law enforcement agencies have had some remarkable successes against key groups responsible for cyber attacks. Just last week, nearly 100 people were arrested in the United States and Egypt on charges of computer fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identify theft. Last month the U.S. Government convicted the individual responsible for the theft and sale of more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from numerous U.S. retailers with losses of more than $21 billion. You can learn more about federal law enforcement efforts in combating cyber crime here, here, and here.

And then there are the botnets, which are large numbers of compromised computers that are controlled remotely by criminals or other malicious actors. Some computer experts have estimated that one quarter of all personal computers are part of a botnet. The Conficker worm has been around for about a year and has managed to spread into millions of machines through network connections and portable media such as thumb drives. These botnets appear to be used primarily for supporting criminal activities such as spam, but we worry that such large botnets could be used to launch unprecedented denial-of-service attacks against banking, government, or other important websites.

As you can see, the cyber threat is quite real. Every day dozens of Federal departments and agencies work with their industry partners to help mitigate these threats. And while we have made great strides thwarting the efforts of cyber criminals, more needs to be done. Next week, I will write more about the basic cybersecurity tips that every computer user should know and adopt.

John Brennan is Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.


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