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Security worries online consumers

Reporting on yesterday’s NetChoice cybersecurity briefing for Capitol Hill staffers, National Journal Technology Daily (subscription required) highlights my warning that the U.S. economy will suffer if "consumers are threatened and don’t feel safe doing business on line." Fellow panelist Rick Howard of  iDefense said consumers are fed up with of spam, phishing scams, and spyware.

Department of Homeland Security CIO Scott Charbo was on the hot seat yesterday on Capitol Hill after a GAO audit found that the database used to screen visitors to the US lacks security controls. Lawmakers are concerned that terrorists could get into the database and change their names to allow them access to this country.

It turns out that a missing computer backup tape containing personal information on Ohio state government employees also holds the names and Social Security numbers of 225,000 taxpayers. The tape was apparently stolen last week from a state intern’s car, but state officials doubt the information has actually been accessed because that would require special hardware, software, and expertise.