Randy Vickers, director of the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (or US-CERT, as it is also known), has chosen to resign, effective immediately. Vickers made the decision to leave on Friday although confirmations have only just reached the internet today. As InformationWeek has confirmed, an email was sent by the acting assistant in the field of cyber-security and communication, Bobbie Stempfley. A spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security confirmed the authenticity of the email after it reached InformationWeek.
The Department of Homeland Security chose not to elaborate on Vickers' reason for resignation and the spokesperson, who chose to remain anonymous, declined further discussion of the issue. The email states that deputy director Lee Rock will take the open position until an official successor can be picked. Vickers' term as the direction of the US-CERT lasted from April 2009 until July 22nd, 2011. Stempfley also wrote in the email that the agency wishes Randy the best in his future endeavors.
The resignation comes at a key point for US-CERT with cyber-attacks on the rise due to the increasing prevalence of groups such as LulzSec and Anonymous. Federal networks in particular have been experiencing attacks with the CIA and other governmental agencies feeling the brunt of the attacks. Groups tied to the government, such as HBGary, have also been attacked for this very reason.
US-CERT is a division of the Department of Homeland Security and specializes in cyber-security as the name would suggest. In particular their goals are to protect online governmental and federal information from groups that would attempt to acquire this confidential data. Unsurprisingly, Vickers' resignation has prompted discussion across the web with some people suggesting that Vickers is backing out due to the strength of the hacking groups. The actual reason for Vickers' resignation may never be clear.