Feeds

FBI boss warns online threats will outpace terrorism

Osama bin Online

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

RSA 2012 The head of the FBI warns that the threat to the US from online attacks will shortly become greater than that posed by terrorists.

"In the not too distant future we anticipate that the cyber threat will pose the number one threat to our country," the FBI's director Robert Mueller told delegates at the RSA 2012 conference in San Francisco. "We need to take lessons learned from terrorism and apply them to cybercrime."

He quoted the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger, who said that the more connected a society becomes – in Seneca's day it was the spread of roads – then the more likely it is that an individual would become a slave to that connectivity.

The same is true of modern society, Mueller said. If the electronic systems on which society relies are removed, the result would be chaos and anarchy, he suggested. Interestingly, this goes against the advice of security guru Bruce Schneier, who pointed out that the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, and if his phone doesn't work he'd be annoyed, but hardly terrified.

As a society we can't turn back the clock, Mueller said, nor should we try to. Instead, we need to share information and tactics to beat any enemies in the future. To that end, the FBI will make changes to its own force, and push for more changes to business practices from government.

All FBI special agents are now being trained in electronic methods, he said, and those who specialize in the area will get the best possible training. The agency is setting up virtual meeting rooms in which investigators can compare notes and follow up on cases.

In addition, Mueller wants a national breach law, so that when a serious hack takes place, the company hit has a responsibility to let law enforcement know. Currently, 47 states have breach laws of some sort, but the FBI wants this to be standardized across the country. Companies need to share their data on attacks and devise strategy together with law enforcement. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.