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Biden to return Homeland Security and Cybersecurity aides to senior White House posts

Faced with the rise of domestic terrorism and a devastating cyberattack from Russia, Presidential Election Joseph R. Biden Jr. has promoted two White House posts that have almost disappeared under the Trump administration: Homeland Security Advisor, who manages as diverse issues as extremism, Extremists and Natural Disasters, and the first Deputy National Security Advisor for cyber and emerging technologies.

According to the transition authorities, the White House’s Homeland Security Advisor will be Elizabeth Sherwood Randall. She is a longtime aide to Mr. Biden, who served as senior director of Europe under President Barack Obama, then acted as Secretary of Energy and oversaw the modernization of nuclear weapons.

And for the complex mission of strengthening cyberattacks and defenses, Mr. Biden opened up the role of Anne Neuberger, a new National Security Agency employee. She ran a small Russian group that launched a preemptive strike on the Kremlin’s cyber actors during the 2018 midterm elections as part of an effort to counter Moscow after interfering with the 2016 presidential election.

For the past 15 months, she has overseen the Cyber ​​Security Bureau of a government agency, a newly established organization to prevent digital threats to government agencies and military industrial networks. But it was also an incubator of emerging technologies, including the development of intrudable encryption (the original mission of the National Security Agency about 70 years ago) using a new generation of quantum computers.

In summary, the two appointments show how Mr. Biden seems determined to rebuild the National Security Organization, which critics of the Trump administration say has been depleted over the past four years. The new White House team will focus on the threats that have hit the United States, even before the coronavirus pandemic reorders the country’s challenges.

Transition officials say Sherwood Randall and Neuberger will be given new powers to convene officials from across governments to address new threats. Neither position requires Senate confirmation, so both are scheduled to begin work on January 20th.

Sherwood-Randall needs to oversee efforts to contain the right-wing group that surrounded the Capitol last week, and Neuberger will face the aftermath of the most nervous cyber breach affecting the federal government. She will have to help hackers behind recent invasions across the government’s network decide how to handle Mr. Biden’s vow to “pay”, officials say.

Rhodes Scholarship student Sherwood Randall, a recent professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, was considered a candidate for Secretary of Energy. The job went to Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan.

She is the White House Homeland Security Adviser created by President George W. Bush, who became more powerful under Mr. Obama, unlike the Secretary of Homeland Security sitting in the Cabinet.

“We will re-engage border security, biosecurity and global public health to strengthen the resilience of our own democracy,” she said in a short interview. “The last of them has become more urgent.”

Mr. Trump dismantled the National Security Council’s pandemic response office and had an active cyber team at the beginning of his term, but it has declined. “I’m worried that the transition partner is at the moment of the transition where it isn’t actually handed over,” Sherwood-Randall said.

“The challenge will restart this office,” said former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, who hired Sherwood Randall during the Clinton administration.

He said Sherwood Randall “dismantled the nuclear heritage” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, while working to establish relations with the former Soviet Republic.

Biden also announced that Sherwood Randall’s deputy would be Las Travers, a 42-year veteran of intelligence agencies focused on combating terrorism. The Trump administration suddenly replaced Mr. Traverse on behalf of the Director of National Intelligence in March during a planned cut by Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.

Mr Traverse has postponed his retirement twice to tentatively lead the National Counterterrorism Center. However, he was so wary of what he saw that the Trump administration was retreating anti-terrorism priorities, so he raised concerns with intelligence inspectors last year in the last few weeks of work. I shared it.

During the summer, he predicted an increase in right-wing violence if Mr. Trump was reelected.

Neuberger is the grandson of the Holocaust survivors, and her family came to Brooklyn after the failure of the Hungarian Revolution in the 1950s. She began her career in the private sector, leading technology at the American Stock Transfer and Trust Company and becoming a White House Fellows, a program that draws talented outsiders into government for a year. However, she soon joined the National Security Agency, where she became the first Chief Risk Officer and led the election security efforts.

She works closely with General Paul M. Nakasone, Director and Commander of the United States Cyber ​​Command. This could ease the tense relationship between one of the largest intelligence agencies in the United States and the White House over the years.

But she arrives especially during busy times. The hacking of SolarWinds, named after a manufacturer of network management software suspected of being compromised by Russian intelligence to access government and private e-mail systems, was a major intelligence failure.

Neuberger admitted that it exposed a series of vulnerabilities exploited by Russian hackers.

“The fact that intelligence and private entities don’t really know the end-to-end situation” is a serious question of how an attacker behaves. “Especially if there are advanced enemies who take steps to hide their activities,” she said.

“There are some very specific ideas and suggestions I’ve learned through SolarWinds in collaboration with very strong private sector partners,” she said. But she didn’t say how Mr Biden would work with his vow to punish hackers.

Eric Schmidt contributed to the report.

Biden to return Homeland Security and Cybersecurity aides to senior White House posts

Source link Biden to return Homeland Security and Cybersecurity aides to senior White House posts

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