Cybercrime reality through FBI eyes

Addressing the crowd gathered at the Information Security Forum’s World Congress in Vancouver on Tuesday, Shawn Henry, FBI Assistant Director of Cybersecurity, shared some stories about recent cybercrime investigations conducted by the agency.

According to the eCommerce Times, he says that most economic sectors have seen companies getting breached one way or another: hackers, disgruntled ex employees, malware-infected drives left laying around, etc. Banks and financial institutions, IT companies, energy utilities and transportation services – nobody is immune.

But, there is some headway made with uncovering the criminals responsible for the incidents. He says that the FBI has “people sitting next to police officers every single day in international police headquarters buildings. They recognize the impact these crimes are having on their economy and national security and their citizens. This gives me some cautious optimism as to where we’re headed as a society.”

They have also witnessed the advantage that international cooperation between police and intelligence agencies brings to this type of investigation, since cyber crimes can be committed from half a world away.

Since his joining the FBI in 1989, he has seen the focus of the attacks shift from CPUs and small networks to mobile devices and smartphones. He also says that the younger generations – used to online shopping, banking, social media can put them in touch with practically anyone and sharing personal information with strangers – don’t have the same outlook on privacy and security as “digital immigrants”, and that that is a factor that makes them more vulnerable to threats.

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