Last week on January 12, US president-elect Donald Trump named former New York City mayor, Rudolph Giuliani as the head of cybersecurity advisory group and the decision was followed by an instant kerfuffle questioning his digital defense chops.
On January 10, Trump claimed he would soon assemble “some of the greatest computer minds anywhere in the world” to tackle the US government’s cybersecurity problem but two days later he went on an opposite route by hiring Giuliani.
Giuliani will coordinate “cybersecurity” issues between the federal government and the private sector.
Giuliani doesn’t seem to be fit for the position though due to his lack of knowledge in the field of cybersecurity which may not prove beneficial for hardening America’s infrastructure against attacks.
The former New York City Mayor originally aspired to the rank of Secretary of State as part of Trump’s White House. Giuliani bowed out of the running last year when it became clear he would not land the one job he coveted.
Giuliani may be best remembered for helping to unify New York City in aftermath of the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. He’d personally chosen the World Trade Center to house New York’s emergency command center, even after it had been attacked by terrorists in 1993—overriding NYPD experts advised by the Secret Service. The command center itself was destroyed on 9/11, making it worthless in New York’s greatest emergency.
More recently, Giuliani has emerged as one of America’s fiercer voices in favor of more aggressive surveillance of Muslims. So it wasn’t a shock that he became one of candidate Trump’s most prominent early supporters, serving up a red-meat Republican convention speech and rushing to Trump’s side after October’s exposure of Trump’s notorious woman-groping tapes. Some observers expected Giuliani to get a plum cabinet role like Secretary of State or Homeland Security, but it didn’t happen.
Industry pros questioned Trump’s decision stating that the website advertising Giuliani’s own security and crisis management consultancy, Giuliani Partners, had glaring vulnerabilities, including an expired cryptographic certification, lack of encryption, an exposed remote login, outdated software and scripting languages, open server ports and Adobe Flash, a notoriously insecure bit of software. The site may as well have been a honeypot for hackers which could be attacked even with SQL injection technique. As soon as computer sleuths took to twitter to point out the shortcomings in the site, it was taken down.
Appearing on Fox & Friends, a Fox News morning show, to reveal his appointment, Giuliani said that we basically don’t have a cyber defense, which is actually true in some sense.