FBI: To Fight Cybercrime, U.S. Banks Must Cooperate

Dennis Faas's picture

International cybercriminals with advanced hacking skills are continuing to launch cyber attacks on American banks. That's why the Federal Bureau of Investigation is encouraging United States financial institutions to work together to prevent such attacks from succeeding.

At a recent press event held by Reuters, FBI executive assistant director Richard McFeely said his agency has been working closely with U.S. bank leaders to devise a strategy for preventing the successful execution of cybercrimes.

Cooperation Key to Protecting Against Cyber Attacks

McFeely said his primary message in those meetings has involved banks sharing data about the attacks each of them are facing. That way, every bank can be better prepared for the next attack.

It's a major change of strategy for the FBI, which McFeely says used to treat each case individually.

"That's 180 degrees from where we are now," McFeely reportedly told his audience. (Source: reuters.com)

McFeely acknowledges that many organizations in the private sector have been reticent to share information related to cyber attacks. It would seem, then, that such organizations haven't fully recognized the threat they are facing.

McFeely refused to discuss those responsible for the attacks, though earlier reports have pointed at Iran- and China-based hackers.

Given the complex nature of the attacks being launched, there is concern that these cybercriminals may have the backing of their respective governments.

For its part, Iran has accused the United States of using the Stuxnet virus to launch attacks against its expanding nuclear program. (Source: pcworld.com)

Arrests Coming, FBI Insists

McFeely insists that even international hackers will be held responsible for their cybercrimes. He indicated that some indictments have been issued in secret and that arrests will follow.

"The first time we bring someone in from out of the country in handcuffs, that's going to be a big deal," McFeely said.

Ironically, the FBI admits that, until such arrests are made (and made public), it may be difficult to convince individual companies to work together to fight cybercrime.

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