FBI Director Robert Muller said Friday that cyber threats will one day pose a more significant danger to U.S. national security than terrorism, which is currently the FBI's top priority.
"In the not too distant future, we anticipate that the cyber threat will pose the No. 1 threat to our country," Muller told attendees at the RSA Computer Security Conference in San Francisco.
RSA conference attendees are often the first to see new threats coming down the road, and know what data is critically important and what could be at risk, Muller observed.
"Real-time information-sharing is essential [and] much information can -- and should be -- shared with the private sector," Muller said. "In turn, those of you in the private sector must have the means and the motivation to work with us."
Muller noted that the FBI's dual role in law enforcement and national security uniquely positions the bureau to collect the intelligence it needs to take down criminal networks, prosecute those responsible, and protect our national security. The problem is that Internet technology is evolving so rapidly that it is difficult for the FBI to keep up from a security perspective.
"We cannot confront cyber crime on our own," Muller said.
Reporting Security Breaches Is Crucial
The most dangerous cyber threats the FBI faces today are posed by the state-sponsored computer experts of hostile foreign nations seeking to steal corporate trade secrets and classified U.S. government documents ,as well as potentially wreak havoc on the nation's most vital infrastructure.
"State-sponsored hackers are patient and calculating, have the time, the money, and the resources to burrow in and to wait," Muller said. "They may come and go, conducting reconnaissance and exfiltrating bits of seemingly innocuous information -- information that in the aggregate may be of high value."
Though many companies may be reluctant to report security breaches, Muller encouraged corporations and other organizations to report cyber crimes to the FBI. In turn, the FBI pledges to launch an investigation that will include the requisite steps for minimizing disruption to businesses while safeguarding enterprise privacy.
"Where necessary, we will seek protective orders to preserve trade secrets and business confidentiality," Muller said. "And we will share with you what we can -- as quickly as we can -- about the means and the methods of attack."
Catching Threat Actors
Muller is convinced that there are only two types of companies -- those that have been hacked and those that will be. "And even they are converging into one category: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again," he said. (continued...)
Posted: 2012-03-03 @ 9:13pm PT
Funny that the feds throw rocks into hornets' nests by threatening those on the fringe of the free flow of information with punitive action, but now turn to those very same people to help them get a handle on the situation. It's hilarious really...