The House of Representatives, under the guidance of Tenable CEO Amit Yoran, have proposed H.R. 7331, which would create a position of ‘Cyber Security Director’ operating out of the Executive Branch. On July 15th, The Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing to examine the bill. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. James Langevin out of Rhode island, essentially promotes an amendment he had argued should be passed in the National Defense Authorization act of 2012. The amendment proposed increased security infrastructure to “protect” the nation in regard to cybersecurity. These “investments” as Langevin called them, were surely relished by his number one campaign contributors — cybersecurity contractors Raytheon and General Dynamics. This cybersecurity industrial complex has reared its head once again in the form of H.R. 7331.
The main reason for such a bill is obvious: people like Amit Yoran, former Cyber Director at DHS, would stand to gain massively from the “beefing up” of Cyber infrastructure within the Federal budget. Indeed, much of the cyber infrastructure is already under Yoran’s control. As he stated in his testimony from July 15th: “For the federal government specifically, Tenable provides the most widely deployed vulnerability assessment solution, serving just about every department and agency. Our solutions are also broadly used by state and local governments to manage cyber risk.”
Just about every department and agency. You would think the lower chamber would recognize the incredible irony of proposing a bill aimed at beefing up cyber security while allowing “just about every” agency of the Federal Government’s security infrastructure to be under the yolk of a private company and paying this company to do it! The Cyber Director, expressed in the bill, would have latitudinal control over the many “silos” of cyber control that exist within different departments such as DOD, DHS, NSA, FBI and CIA, for example. The Director would be aimed at consolidating the strategy, budget, and cohesion of these many cyber silos–oh, and this consolidation approach would include the private sector in the consolidation, as Yoran stated–of course. “This whole-of-nation effort must work closely with the private sector that performs many critical functions for the nation.”
The need for Government contracts is understood. However, when it comes to cyber-security, granting private companies’ contracts to provide the infrastructure for the Federal systems is obviously extremely foolish. When you have mega-corporations lining the pockets of politicians, it is no surprise we would cede control of our systems to private corporations. Yoran tried to explain the bill as the dog wagging the tail; in that, the Federal Government would be working to ensure that the private sector was in harmony with the Government’s strategy. However, the tail is wagging the dog; it’s obvious that the Government would be the one subject to the devices of the private sector. The Government could obviously terminate the contract, but with the stranglehold companies like Yoran and Tenable already have, it’s hard to get that toothpaste back in the tube. The bill and the position of Cyber Director is nothing but another vector to shell out more cash to this cyber security complex and consolidate the systems which companies like Tenable profit from; likely in more ways than one. Amit Yoran and his Tenable company have veritable ties to Israel. For example, they teamed up with “Ex” Israeli Defense Force Cyber experts, and bought their Israeli company, Indegy, for $120 million in 2019. Their Founder, Barak Perelman, was a member of Unit 8200, which is the Intelligence apparatus of the IDF. So, it’s easy to extrapolate “ex” IDF operators are now in full control of the cyber infrastructure in the United States, and this is admitted, on record in the House of Representatives.
“It is critical for the Director to have visibility into, and coordination authority with, the Department of Defense (DoD), intelligence agencies, and law enforcement community,” Yoran states. It is easy to surmise that this “visibility” would mean not that this director would be “holding other agencies accountable” as some Q-brained people might take it as. It simply would mean that these companies like the IDF ran Tenable, would have the consolidation and “visibility” by implementing consolidating all the inter-agency infrastructures. It would codify cyber strategy between agencies; and this unelected bureaucrat, would be the vector to harness control of the entire federal cyber-grid. All the “cyber assets” people like Yoran say this bill would protect, mainly from “RUSSIA!”, as he stated on July 15th, would come under the yolk of Israel and foreign entities.
“Over the last ten years, nation state actors, criminals and other adversaries have repeatedly relied on cyber attacks to conduct espionage and intellectual property theft, to target oil and natural gas pipelines, to attempt to undermine U.S. elections.” He cites an Axios article to buttress his “undermines” claims, and the culprit, of course, is Russia! Never mind the spy devices Israel got caught planting near the White House last year. That sort of espionage is of course only to protect the U.S. against Russian espionage, right?
And of course, under the cover of Covid, Yoran goes on to use Covid as the conduit for the “need” for this bill. “The coronavirus has elevated the importance of cyber infrastructure and demonstrated how incredibly disruptive a major cyberattack could be…. But while we are woefully unprepared for a cyber calamity, there is still time to right the ship.” Oh God!
Not only is Yoran going to save us from the KGB– he even gave the House a limited time offer! Tenable will be “extending licenses of our products for free, providing free weekly sessions with our engineers to share tips and best practices, and offering free webinars and sound advice on securing the remote workforce.”
Free cyber security from the IDF? That’s an offer nobody on Capitol Hill can refuse.