One of the most senior figures in cyber crime prevention in the US has abruptly quit his job as the director of government body the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).
Randy Vickers's resignation comes just a couple of months after Phil Reitinger, deputy undersecretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate, resigned from the Department of Homeland Security which it shares with the US-CERT.
Commentators were quick to speculate that the current avalanche of hacktivist attacks may have led to Vickers's as yet unexplained decision to leave the body.
Sophos' Carole Theriault pointed out that many of the attacks have been targeted specifically at public sector bodies, increasing the pressure on those tasked to deal with them.
"I don't have any idea how the US-CERT measures its employees' performances, but I imagine that the job of late must have looked a lot like firefighting," she wrote in a blog post.
"In 2011 alone, we have seen numerous large-scale attacks, such as the potential theft of US weapons system plans, the CIA web site attack, the IMF hack, not to mention the RSA data theft and subsequent attack on US military contractors."
Perhaps more telling, though, is that six people have held Vickers's role in the past seven years.
There is either something seriously institutionally amiss with the US-CERT and its reporting line into the Department of Homeland Security which makes its bosses want to quit, or it really is an impossible job given the current threat landscape.
Either way, interim replacement Lee Rock certainly has his work cut out.
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