FBI: Focusing on Hackers and Intrusions

Your tax dollars are being put to work in ways to secure your bank accounts and our critical infrastructure. But there’s still more work to do.

The FBI reports Early last year, hackers were discovered embedding malicious software in two million computers, opening a virtual door for criminals to rifle through users’ valuable personal and financial information. Last fall, an overseas crime ring was shut down after infecting four million computers, including half a million in the U.S. In recent months, some of the biggest companies and organizations in the U.S. have been working overtime to fend off continuous intrusion attacks aimed at their networks.

To that end, the FBI over the past year has put in place an initiative to uncover and investigate web-based intrusion attacks and develop a cadre of specially trained computer scientists able to extract hackers’ digital signatures from mountains of malicious code. Agents are cultivating cyber-oriented relationships with the technical leads at financial, business, transportation, and other critical infrastructures on their beats.

Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the Bureau’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch was quoted saying “It’s important that everybody understands that if you have a computer that is outward-facing—that it’s connected to the web—that your computer is at some point going to be under attack,” he said. “You need to be aware of the threat and you need to take it seriously.”

When he says “you” he means banks, retailers, and just about everyone involved in eCommerce or anyone with a connection to the internet.

Smart businesses engaged in eCommerce are helping to stem the tide of cybercrime by incorporating device reputation into their transactions. iovation, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and has pioneered the use of device reputation to stop online fraud and abuse. The software-as-a service used by online businesses assesses risk of Internet transactions all over the world and recognizes if a device such as a PC, tablet or smartphone has a history of fraudulent behavior.  This helps organizations make educated decisions if they want to do business with the person using the device.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.

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