Sunday, March 4, 2012

FBI Chief Calls Cyberthreats Public Enemy No. 1

Cyberattacks in various forms — cybercrime, terrorist acts committed via computers and cybattacks from foreign states — will soon be the United States’ most serious threat, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller. He urged the private sector to help by sharing information with law enforcement. His remarks were made at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

In the near future, cyberthreats will be the leading threat to the United States, FBI Director Robert Mueller warned in a speech on Thursday at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.
Traditional crime, from mortgage and healthcare fraud to child exploitation, have moved online, while terrorists have become increasingly cyber-savvy, Mueller said.

Meanwhile, law enforcement is also confronting hacktivists, organized crime, hostile foreign nations spying on the U.S. and online and mercenary hackers.

Law enforcement needs to take lessons learned from fighting terrorism and apply them to cybercrime, he stated.

While the FBI has built up substantial expertise to deal with cyberthreats, it needs help from the private sector, Mueller said, repeating his often-made call for companies to be forthright about reporting data breaches.

“With cyberterrorism, there are fewer high-impact targets that likely have sophisticated defenses,” Tim Keanini, chief technology officer at nCircle, told TechNewsWorld. “Cybercrime, on the other hand, has become an actual business model with countless targets.”

Cybercrime “has had magnitudes more bite than cyberterrorism for a long time now,” mused Randy Abrams, an independent security consultant.

The Rise of the Terrorist in Cyberspace

Terrorist organizations are using the Internet to grow and connect with each other, and they are doing so openly, Mueller said.           More