Taking tech security seriously

TAKING TECH SECURITY SERIOUSLY….The bad news is 2005 was an awful year for tech security. The worse news is the federal government could invest more in cybersecurity, but doesn’t appear interested.

2005 saw the most computer security breaches ever, subjecting millions of Americans to potential identity fraud, according to a report published Thursday.

Over 130 major intrusions exposed more than 55 million Americans to the growing variety of fraud as personal data like Social Security and credit card numbers were left unprotected, according to USA Today.

The Treasury Department says that cyber crime has now outgrown illegal drug sales in annual proceeds, netting an estimated $105 billion in 2004, the report said.

At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security’s 2005 research budget for cybersecurity programs was cut 7% to $16 million.

After the ChoicePoint debacle, the recent breakdown in tech security at Ford, and the fact that terrorists are coordinating operations online, you’d think cybersecurity research would get a little more than $16 million — and wouldn’t face budget cuts right now.

That, coupled by the fact that the Bush administration has gone through four cybersecurity chiefs in three years, hardly inspires confidence in the system.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.