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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 22, 1999


             Keeping America Secure for the 21st Century:
             Computer Security and Critical Infrastructure

Today, President Clinton will announce new initiatives to defend the nation's computer systems and critical infrastructure from cyber-terrorism. The most critical sectors of our economy -- power-generation, telecommunications, banking, transportation and emergency services -- are potentially vulnerable to disruptions from computer attack.

President Clinton will propose in the Fiscal Year 2000 budget spending $1.46 billion to defend against this emerging threat. This represents an increase of $400 million from the FY 1999 budget proposal. It will include funding for the following initiatives:

Critical Infrastructure Applied Research Initiative: The President's budget proposal includes $500 million for research and development efforts. A portion of these funds will be spent on new initiatives to improve information assurance by safeguarding networks. Funds will also be dedicated to developing tools that can identify anomalous activities and "Trojan Horses" (malicious codes installed by unauthorized users).

Computer Intrusion Detection Networks: The Defense Department has already begun to install intrusion detection systems and create a network to warn key computers of an attack. Under the President's initiative, a similar system for other Federal agencies will be evaluated and designed. These networks will ensure that when one computer system is attacked, others in the network will be instantly warned of the intrusion, informed of the mode of attack used, and provided with methods to stop it.

Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs): As part of the public-private partnership, we will support the initial establishment of ISACs to foster private sector development of best practices and standards for computer security, to encourage the sharing of vulnerability analysis, and to provide outreach and training programs. These ISACs will enable the Federal government to provide private industry with threat information without compromising privacy, civil liberties or proprietary data.

Cyber Corps: This program will address the shortage of highly skilled computer science expertise in the government and enable agencies to recruit a cadre of experts to respond to attacks on computer networks. It will use existing personnel flexibilities, scholarship and financial assistance programs, and examine new scholarship programs to retrain, retain and recruit computer science students.