February 16, 2006 11:46 AM PST

FBI wants businesses' help to fight cybercrime

SAN JOSE, Calif.--The FBI needs more help from private businesses to stay ahead of the curve in the fight on cybercrime, said FBI Director Robert Mueller.

"Those of you in the private sector are our first line of defense," Mueller said Wednesday, during a speech to attendees of the RSA Conference 2006 here. "We recognize that in certain areas we lack the expertise that you possess. We lack the specific knowledge of threats that affect individual businesses every day."

Robert Mueller

The advent of the information age has made the world smaller and smarter, but the threats have become equally more diverse and dangerous, Mueller said. "We need your help, and we continue to ask for your cooperation," he said.

Information technology has become a "force multiplier for criminals," with threats including online fraud, identity theft and botnets, Mueller said. "It is not easy for law enforcement and private industry alike to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to these ever-evolving threats."

Dealing with viruses, spyware, PC theft and other computer-related crimes costs U.S. businesses a staggering $67.2 billion a year, the FBI found in a study released last month.

The FBI has taken steps to improve its own abilities to investigate cybercrime. Four years ago, it created its own Cyber Division, and the agency has set up specially trained cybersquads across the U.S.

The bureau has several initiatives to work with private businesses, such as its InfraGard program, which has about 3,000 members. These efforts have helped identify new attacks and track down attackers, Mueller said. For example, in collaboration with Microsoft, the FBI found the alleged creators of the Mytob and Zotob worms.

"Through these public and private alliances, we are moving from rhetoric to reality and improving our ability to confront criminal and terrorist threats to our national infrastructure," Mueller said.

Still, there has been some apprehension in working with law enforcement, especially when it comes to reporting cybercrime.

"Most companies that experience computer intrusions or breaches of security do not report the incidents to law enforcement," Mueller said. That may be because they fear negative publicity or the loss of a competitive advantage, he said.

The FBI is conscious of that fear. "We certainly do not want you to be victimized a second time by our investigation," Mueller said.

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7 comments

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Easy fix
Easy fix, just merge the FBI with NSA and it's myriad of backdoor rootkits, it has in it's arsenal, end of problem!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They rejected our proposal......
We tried to give the FBI office in Atlanta a program designed after the SETI program to help find and report suspected child pornography on P2P networks. The design was really simple, but very effective and secure.

We tried to donate the application, database and source code to the FBI to "do our part" in helping make the world safer for all children.

Their response? "No thanks."

They never even asked us to come in and show them what we had....

The junior FBI cadet that we had to talk to didn't seem to know a whole hell of a lot about programming or computers in general. She gave me the distinct impression that a cell phone would throw her into a fit of confusion.

Not only did she not even care to look at it, she was very adamant that we not use it either.

It goes back to the whole US vs THEM mentality of law enforcement. If you are in law enforcement, you are a part of the "brotherhood". If you are not in law enforcement, you are a "civilian".

Not a citizen, mind you.....a "civillian".

Just try and strike up a coversation with a policeman at a fast food place and you'll see what I mean.

Not a drop of Andy Griffith in the whole damned lot of 'em. Being a law enforcement officer (on any level) is more than just "do it because I said so and I wear a badge". Hell, that's what Communist states do.

If you're going to be effective, you have to have the people behind you. Effective law enforcement is actually the ability to rally a community (or nation) to lead the way to the bad guys.

You can only do that when you have the trust and loyalty of the people. And, you can only have that when you give it first.

With the continued alienation of the citizens by all branches of law enforcement through this US vs THEM mentality, tracking and prosecuting crimminals is becoming increasingly difficult.

When you treat every "civilian" as a suspect, you can expect this trend to continue.

Good luck to all of you in law enforcement. You're gonna need it.
Posted by Jim Hubbard (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
FBI Rejection
I am a member of the Law Enforcement Community a
Police Officer for a large city, and I am not impressed with the FBI.

They have been known to bungle a few investigations.
I truly believe they are over-rated Prima Donna's. It would not be the first time that the FBI has not acted on good information.
Perhaps the Dept Of Justice would be interested in that program. At the very least America's Most Wanted should be made aware of the program. The Attorney General Office in Illinois under Lisa Madigan would welcome information
Back to the FBI
I had a problem which needed to be investigated and they sent me FBI Agent Barney Fife. Needless to say I would never contact them again.
Do not be discouraged go above the FBI cadet ask for a supervisor and if all else fails then contact the press. Why should our Children suffer because of incompetent police personel.
Posted by ladybluecpd (7 comments )
Link Flag
The FBI's on the right track.
But will they continue this pro-active approach to technology or
will it just fizzle away with time?

The do have one thing right about cyber-crime; it's the fact that
most hosting companies are scared of telling the Fed's. Just ask
my hosting company, Intersession's, why they didn't report the
hacking of there servers by a group know as the CopyLeft
System Root Crew I watched these hackers as they single
handedly took down over 270 websites in 72 hours.

You know how I know? Because there were 10 of my websites
that were defaced by these guys. You can see a picture of it here
at www.matrixstructures.com/hackers/. You know what was also
funny about this. Yahoo helped the hackers everyway they could.
I suppose Yahoo isn't smart enough to monitor there web stats
and traffic logs to see abnormal usage of certain web pages for
characteristics like image only web sucking. The hackers hosted
the images on a Yahoo free hosting site, just look at the pages
source code.

You know to put the perverbial topping on the cake. I confronted
my server guys at Intersessions inquiring whether of not they
were going to report the hacking of there servers. You know
what there response was:
"Informing the FBI about this incident would do any good. They
[the FBI] wouldn't do anything about it anyway"

I believe that email is somewhere buried in my Gmail account
because well, my servers where hacked so I couldn't use my web
based email!

Hmmmmm! Somebody walks into your house, trashes the place,
eats your food, and then leaves a note telling you to have a F'kn'
nice day! And your not going to do anything about it! *******!

I'm going to do something about it. Some day there'll be a
HakerTrakr and there won't be such a thing as HACKERS!

Thanks Intersessions for not even offering me any compensation
for the hundreds of hours I lost because you didn't feel the need
to update your PHP! Therefore allowing the use of outdated
PHPbb software.

Thanks
~Justin
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More government bumbling with law enforecement...
"It took me a half dozen e-mails and telephone calls over three days to just to confirm that yes, the Directorate of National Intelligence, or DNI, the new-ish uber-spooks body  has opened an office to deal with state and local law enforcement.

And it took me a few more inquiries before the DNI gave up the name of its head, Michael Tiffany, though nothing more.

Mind you, this is not classified information. Forget about denying public information to a pesky reporter: State and local cops have to know whos in charge of state and local law enforcement issues, right?"

Go read the whole article at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cq.com/public/20060217_homeland.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.cq.com/public/20060217_homeland.html</a>.

Can anybody name me anything that the Government does not screw up?

My personal opinion is that its because every program tries to appease everybody - and frequently it must do so to get implemented at all.

Every business-person knows that trying to please everybody is a sure recipie for failure. Why doesn't the government know that?
Posted by Jim Hubbard (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is the FBI able?
In recent days, Bill Gates openly satirizes the VP and the US Presidency as incompetent, Google says no to the Justice Department on constitutional grounds of protecting citizen's rights and the IT Security industry knows it doesn't have as yet a solution though patents abound aplenty that would require them losing money and status to serve the US marketplace.

What is going on? I think profit has taken the place of patriotism. I was watching the history channel and it talked about all the Presidents and then it said President Theodore Roosevelt felt an unrestricted private market of billionaires was a threat to public safety so he championed anti-trust and anti-monopolist laws.

People seeing him do that then put into effect legislation on an unrestricted Presidency.

Now, all checks and balances are off. Small industry has the solution but big industry says screw the consumer and the Government instead of paving a way for consumer protection weakly sets standards that might work but need interpretation giving the big business a way to weasle out of serving the consumer.

Then, the FBI says, more or less, we cannot protect the consumer why don't you guys, the industry that has no profit motive to do so do it for us and help us also catch the bad guys.

OK, here's a news flash. The bad guys are using software created by the good guys but the good guys act like, hey, so what, we cannot be responsible for what someone does to our stuff. I heard this before with gun makers who say guns don't kill people, bad guys with guns do.

The buck stops somewhere but that aside. It is going to be up to the consumers to pick a product that works and that is the sin here.

We depositors have to protect ourselves and we don't know how to do it since everyone is pointing at each other. I expect my tax dollars to be spent better than that. That's what I think. Ciao now.
Posted by Iohagh (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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