Computer emergency response team

Computer Emergency Response Team

Computer emergency response team

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Computer Emergency Response Team is a name given to expert groups that handle computer security incidents. Most groups append the abbreviation CERT or CSIRT to their designation where the latter stands for Computer Security Incident Response Team. For some teams the spelling of CERT refers to Computer Emergency Readiness Team while handling the same tasks.

The name of Computer Emergency Response team is the historic designation for the first team at the Carnegie Mellon University. The abbreviation CERT of the historic name was picked up by other teams around the world. In the English-speaking parts of the world some teams took on the more specific name of CSIRT to point out the task of handling security incidents instead of other tech support work.

The history of CERTs is linked to the existence of computer worms. Whenever a new technology arrives, its misuse is not long in following - the first worm in the IBM VNET was covered up. Shortly later a worm hit the Internet on the 3 November 1988, when the so-called Morris Worm paralysed a good percentage of it. This led to the formation of the first Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon University under U.S. Government contract.

With the massive growth in the use of Information and Communications Technologies over the subsequent years, the now-generic term 'CERT'/'CSIRT' refers to an essential part of most large organisations' structures.

CERT organizations

USA

In the USA most CERTs cooperate with the...
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