FBI director: Cyber-threats will become top worry

Mar 02, 2012 By MARCUS WOHLSEN , Associated Press

(AP) -- The director of the FBI told an annual gathering of cyber-security professionals on Thursday that the agency needs the private sector to help combat what he believes is becoming the nation's No. 1 threat.

FBI Director Robert Mueller reiterated his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in January that would surpass terrorism as the country's top concern.

`We are losing data, we are losing money, we are losing ideas and we are losing innovation," Mueller said at the in San Francisco. "Together we must find a way to stop the bleeding."

The dangers posed by organized , rogue and computer breaches backed by foreign governments have become a focus for the FBI.

Counterterrorism is still the agency's top priority, but the agency has retooled to prepare for Internet-based aggressors, Mueller said. Cyber-squads in every FBI field office now monitor for crimes ranging from mortgage and health care fraud to child exploitation and terror recruiting, he said.

Mueller's comments came as federal agencies and lawmakers wrangle over who should take the lead in defending against the digital enemies that have become a major talking point for national security officials this year.

The rising interest in cyber-defense could mean good business for many in the audience for Mueller's speech. The said private companies often are the first to see cyber-threats emerge.

Mueller also sought to reassure businesses that fear the bad publicity they might face if they report to law enforcement that they were the victims of a cyber-attack. He said the agency would respect companies' privacy and work not to disrupt their daily operations.

"We do not want you to feel victimized a second time by one of our investigations," he said.

Mueller said the time would soon come when no company could boast it was immune from digital incursions: "There are only two types of companies: Those that have been hacked, and those that will be."

Explore further: Facebook suffers outage affecting users worldwide

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UK govt to announce new cyber security strategy

Nov 25, 2011

The government is set to announce new measures to tackle cyber crime on Friday as Britain's internet and electronic communications network comes under increased attack from hackers and foreign intelligence ...

US Senate panel to weigh cybercrime costs

Mar 22, 2011

A key US Senate panel announced Tuesday it will hold a March 29 hearing on the economic costs of cyberattacks and cyber crimes like identity theft and hacker strikes on government computers.

Recommended for you

WikiLeaks accuses Google of handing over emails to US

15 hours ago

Whistleblowing site WikiLeaks on Monday accused Google of handing over the emails and electronic data of its senior staff to the US authorities without providing notification until almost three years later.

Turkish court orders Facebook pages blocked

21 hours ago

Turkey's state-run news agency says a court has ordered authorities to block access in the country to Facebook pages that "insult" the Prophet Muhammad, in the latest move to censor the Internet.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.