Computer Crime Research Center


Ex-Bush Adviser Joins Cybercrime Startup

Date: May 03, 2005
Source: Washingtonpost
By: Rachel Konrad

SAN FRANCISCO -- A senior computer security adviser to President Bush has joined a New Jersey technology startup that protects home Internet users from hackers, con artists and other online threats.

Howard Schmidt, a top cyber-security adviser to President Bush in 2003 and former security chief at Microsoft Corp. and eBay Inc., said Monday he accepted a position as chairman of the board at Electronic Lifestyle Integration Inc.

Unlike most security companies, which help protect corporate networks from attacks, the Mount Laurel, N.J.-based hardware and software company focuses on home broadband networks _ one of the fastest growing arenas for cyber crimes. Compared to corporations, few home Internet users have sophisticated firewalls, anti-spam and antivirus software, or other safeguards from potential attackers.

Schmidt has served as special adviser for cyber security for the White House, chairman of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, and a member of the President's Committee of Advisers on Science and Technology. He has investigated computer crimes for the FBI, Air Force, and the federal Computer Crime and Information Warfare Division.

The Air Force veteran is currently a strategist for the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team and investigates computer crime for the U.S. Army Reserves.

In November 2003, Schmidt became chief security strategist at e-commerce powerhouse eBay, and he hopes to continue serving as a consultant for the online auction company. Before that, he served as chief security officer for Microsoft Corp., where he was co-founder and director of the software company's Trustworthy Computer Security Strategies Group.

Schmidt, who has spent more than three decades working in government agencies, said Monday the move to a startup was aimed at protecting what he believed were the most vulnerable Internet users _ those who connect from home.

"I've spent my career trying to raise awareness across the world for information security in the home and at work and have long said we need to move the battlefield to the untrained end users and protect them at the borders," Schmidt said Monday in an e-mail.

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