Sunday, December 6, 2009

An introduction to the FBI's anti-cyber crime network

The FBI explained how its anti-cyber crime task force works at a Congressional hearing this week, and outlined the Bureau's latest accomplishments, which include catching the masterminds of a coordinated raid on over 1,000 ATM machines. But nobody thinks the United States is prepared to stop a really bad attack through cyberspace on our financial or physical networks.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation told Congress this week that when it comes to cyber crime, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda aren't the sharpest pencils in the cup, but they're not out of the game either. "It is always worth remaining mindful that terrorists do not require long term, persistent network access to accomplish some or all of their goals," Steven R. Chabinsky, one of the Bureau's Cyber Division directors, explained to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. "Rather, a compelling act of terror in cyberspace could take advantage of a limited window of opportunity to access and then destroy portions of our networked infrastructure."

And there are lots of such windows, Chabinsky added, since, "we, as a nation, continue to deploy new technologies without having in place sufficient hardware or software assurance schemes, or sufficient security processes that extend through the entire lifecycle of our networks."

Thus the FBI has set up its own network to respond to whatever comes down the pike. Time will tell, and probably soon, how effective it is, but Chabinsky laid it out all the parts at the hearing. They include a division within the bureau, an inter-federal task force, an alliance with state, local, and industry enforcers, and a consumer complaint center.
ars technica

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