White House Selects Cybersecurity Chief

The Homeland Security Department picked an industry information security specialist Monday as its cybersecurity chief, filling a job that has had no permanent director for a year.

Greg Garcia was appointed assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said. The cybersecurity job was created in July 2005, but department officials have struggled to find candidates willing to take significant pay cuts from industry jobs to fill it.

Part of Garcia's job will be to oversee the department's National Cyber Security Division. For the last two years, that office has been run by Donald "Andy" Purdy Jr., who is a two-year contract employee on loan from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Carnegie Mellon has received $19 million in contracts from Homeland Security's cybersecurity office under Purdy's management.

Garcia "brings the right mix of experience in government and the private sector to continue to strengthen our robust partnerships that are essential to this field," Chertoff said in a statement.

A test of mock Internet attacks concluded last week that many government and industry officials were unable to fight back quickly and effectively against a series of simulated hackings that aimed to halt subways and trigger power outages.


On the Net:

Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov

Carnegie Mellon University: http://www.cmu.edu/

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