Cybersecurity: FBI Director Outlines Public-Private Plan

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert S. Mueller III outlined a plan to strengthen private and government cooperation to improve security of the nation''s information infrastructure in a speech to the Informational Technology Association of America (ITAA) October 31.

Mueller said the FBI has made cybercrime its number one criminal priority in anticipation of dramatic increases in what he described as "Internet-enabled crimes," that is, traditional crimes such as fraud, identity theft, copyright infringement and child pornography that have migrated online. A second class of crimes, born with the Internet age, is also a serious concern for national law enforcement. Those are computer intrusions, denial of service attacks and cyber terrorism - all crimes with "the potential to ruin businesses, cause staggering financial losses, threaten our national security and even cost lives," Mueller said. The FBI is reorganizing itself to better respond and investigate online criminal activity, Mueller said, with a particular emphasis on tapping private sector expertise to help respond to crime. "We are forming high tech task forces that include private sector players, law enforcement and in some cases experts from academic disciplines," Mueller explained to the ITAA audience in suburban Washington. "So when there is a local cyber crime problem, the worldwide network of the FBI and the resources of the other task force participants can work together to assist." The FBI director implored the private sector members of his audience to provide more information to authorities about unauthorized intrusions into their computer networks. He estimated that the FBI is receiving reports on only one third of such incidents. Mueller acknowledged business leaders' concerns that reporting these cases to authorities might make them subject to investigation, expose protected corporate information or attract unwelcome media attention that could adversely affect stock prices. Mueller offered assurances that the FBI would take care to minimize such consequences. "We will try to find the origin of the attacker, help you preserve evidence and avoid counter-surveillance. We will help protect you legally," Mueller said. "And we will do what no one else can - hunt down the perpetrator and shut him or her down."

Quelle: USINFO-DE v. 4.11.2002.

MMR 2002, Heft 12, VIII