Thursday, April 03, 2008
Today Brian Krebs broke the story in his Washington Post "Security Fix" blog, that Cornelius Tate had been named to head the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division.
Cornelius Tate is a perfect example of a Computer Science major making a difference in the world of Cyber Crime. Tate received his bachelor of science in Computer Science from the University of Mississippi in 1985, but when a friend of his joined the Secret Service during Tate's junior year, he realized that he would rather be investigating computer crimes than writing code. (Source: DiversityCareers.com)
Like former NCSD Director, Jerry Dixon, Tate worked at the IRS after graduating from college. US-CERT will not be something new to him -- in 2002, Tate served as the Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute as the "resident liaiason" from the USSS to the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC). Tate initiated the use of CERT/CC staff in high profile protection planning as part of the "Critical Systems Protection Initiative" (CSPI) which included having CERT members travel with the Secret Service to prepare cyber systems for events such as the 2002 Olympic Games and Super Bowl XXXVI.
Tate also recognizes the value of R&D. In this feature from SEI's CERT/CC Tate says of the Service, "We bring hands-on experience, and the CERT/CC provides a research and development capability that extends beyond the scope of our traditional protective mission."
While at CERT/CC, Tate was part of the "Insider Threat Study" research staff that lead to the development of the "MERIT" system, which we actually had presented in Birmingham at the joint "FBI InfraGard/USSS Computer Crimes Working Group" meeting in 2006. MERIT stands for "Management and Education of the Risk of Insider Threats", and we learned a great deal from the presentation.
When Tate was assigned to the Presidential Protective Detail, he served as the Supervisory Administrator for Technology Systems, and was actively involved in tracing email and Internet-based threats to the White House and its residents.
InfraGard members will know of Mr. Tate's work, not only from his participation in the famous InfraGard Houston conferences, but also in the form of their DHS-appointed Protective Security Advisors. Mr. Tate oversaw all of our nation's PSA's in his position as the Director of Field Operations for the Protective Security Division. In Birmingham we are very grateful for the active participation of our PSA in the Birmingham Chapter of InfraGard.
Congratulations on the new position, Mr. Tate. As an InfraGard President, and a Cyber Crime Researcher, I wish you well, and look forward to working with you and your staff in your new endeavors.
Posted by Gary Warner, UAB / PhishMe at 11:48 PM