Feeds

FBI chief barred from online banking by wife

Domestic surveillance

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.