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Mueller: Our National Infrastructure Is A Soft Target

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Speaking at the InfraGard 2005 conference in Washington DC, FBI Director Robert Mueller asked attendees to share information when attackers hit their firms.

On August 9th, Mr. Mueller emphasized the importance of letting law enforcement know when a business has been affected by an electronic attack. “(O)nly 20 percent of companies that experienced computer intrusions in 2004 reported those incidents to law enforcement. Respondents said they did not alert authorities because they feared negative publicity and loss of competitive advantage.”

That situation needs to change, Mr. Mueller said in his talk. He cited the now-notorious CardSystems breach that exposed 40 million credit cards to theft: “When the company discovered the breach earlier this year, representatives quickly contacted the FBI to initiate an investigation, based on the recommendation of an employee who is an InfraGard member. Because of CardSystem’s quick response, we were able to start the investigation immediately, before the trail went cold.”

Electronic threats can take many forms, and Mr. Mueller said that only with the cooperation of people like the 11,000 already in the InfraGard program can they hope to thwart future attacks. He praised members like those who helped agents in Phoenix on a “highly sensitive counterterrorism case” last year.

But the Agency can only battle threats it knows exists. “Maintaining a code of silence will not benefit you or your company in the long run,” he said to attendees.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Mueller: Our National Infrastructure Is A Soft Target
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