Cyber threats a game changer for the FBI

You know by now that cyber attacks are a growing threat to US government data facilities, critical infrastructure and American businesses. Thursday at RSA Conference 2012, FBI Director Robert Mueller will explain how the threat has been a game changer for his agency.

While Mueller's presentation isn't public at this point, an FBI spokesperson told CSO that his remarks would track closely with similar remarks made recently by FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry.

Henry has said in a number of presentations and interviews that you can't just use technology to defeat cyber threats, you have to know who is attacking you and what they're after. Henry has also suggested that the US create a new, separate, highly secure Internet for critical infrastructure, financial institutions and the government.

Notably, the FBI has itself been the target of a number of attacks recently, including an attack by the group Anonymous shortly after the FBI and New Zealand authorities arrested Megauploads founder Kim Dotcom.

Previously, in his testimony before Congress regarding the FBI's 2012 budget, Mueller noted that the FBI would need greater resources to continue its fight against cyber terrorism and other cyber attacks. "Technological advancements and the Internet's expansion will continue to empower malicious cyber actors to harm U.S. national security through criminal and intelligence activities," Mueller said in his testimony. "We must maintain our ability to keep pace with this rapidly developing technology."

The FBI's stance on cyber-attacks hasn't changed except to raise the level of urgency. Henry, in an interview with the Associated Press and reported in Air Force Times, said that networks should be developed where anonymity is not an option.

Mueller's view on the critical cyber security issues are nearly certain to reflect the views of the Obama Administration, which were expressed in recent Senate Cybersecurity hearings. Measures the administration espoused include a public-private partnership to help share information on cyber attacks. Previous statements by Mueller and others in the FBI have focused on the necessity for information sharing as an effective means of fighting cyber terrorism and other types of cyber-attacks.

Previous FBI statements regarding cyber attacks have stressed the fact that terrorist groups and nationally-sponsored hacker groups can tap into cybercrime organizations and use their resources, such as their botnets, to mount attacks on the US government and critical infrastructure. It was one such attack that succeeded briefly against the FBI and the US Department of Justice following the Megauploads arrests.

Read more about malware/cybercrime in CSOonline's Malware/Cybercrime section.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about Department of JusticeFBIRSAUS Department of Justice

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Wayne Rash

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts