Feeds

FBI chief barred from online banking by wife

Domestic surveillance

Website security in corporate America

America's chief spook has been banned from internet banking by his wife after nearly falling prey to a common email phishing scam.

FBI Director Robert Mueller was in San Francisco on Wednesday to advocate public vigilance against cybercrime. Speaking to the non-profit public affairs org, the Commonwealth Club of California, Mueller admitted that he himself barely dodged a con from the oldest trick in the cyber-criminal handbook.

Mueller recalled how, not long ago, he received an email purportedly from his bank that looked "perfectly legitimate." The email requested he verify some personal information, and Mueller obliged with the instructions before realizing "this might not be such a good idea."

The FBI chief said he quickly changed all his passwords and tried to pass the incident off to his wife as a "teachable moment." But she replied: "It is not my teachable moment. However, it is our money. No more internet banking for you!"

Mueller said while such scams are an every day occurrence, similar internet chicanery is being used by "criminals, spies, and terrorists." Be afraid, be very afraid.

Mueller: e-free banking

"We know the game plan of our adversaries. They will keep twisting the doorknobs and picking the locks until they find a way in. But we must not let them in. We must change the locks. We must bar the doors. And we must sound the alarms when we notice anything out of the ordinary."

Yet not everyone in attendance was convinced it's the cyber criminals that are the biggest threat to America. When questions were read from the audience, one (smartly) anonymous query began: "I'm not worried about a teenage hacker reading my email. I'm worried about you reading it."

Mueller responded that the questioner should in fact worry about the teenager "so much more" than the FBI. The G-man general said while preventing internet crime is incredibly difficult, the US government has struck "a pretty good balance" between respecting civil liberties and stewarding national security.

His speech was delivered the day US and Egyptian officials announced they've charged 100 people with conducting a phishing operation they call the biggest cybercrime case ever.

A transcript of Mueller's speech can be found at the FBI website. Or at least, what looks like the FBI website. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.