Legislation providing $900m for IT security research and education to protect against hackers and terrorists has been signed by President Bush.
Under the Cyber Security Research and Development Act, computer security research centres and educational fellowships will be set up at the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
NIST will develop a security plan for federal agencies highlighting security settings and options that are available on all federally procured hardware and software.
According to Associated Press, the legislation was backed by Republicans and Democrats who said that the funding was needed to defend against terrorists who may target vital communications networks.
Several agencies will now become part of the newly created Department of Homeland Security, including the National Infrastructure Protection Center and the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office.
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