Print 27 comment(s) - last by Boze.. on Oct 12 at 12:15 PM

Robert Mueller, director of the FBI -- our nation's domestic intelligence agency -- admitted at a talk that he was a click away from sending his bank account information to phishers. He has been banned from online banking by his wife, he says.  (Source: James Martin/CNET )
FBI Chief reveals his own brush with online dangers

Cybersecurity is indeed everyone's problem.  With a majority of U.S. citizens woefully underprepared to recognize or deal with threats, phishers and other malicious users are reaping ill-gotten profits. 

If you feel bad for almost believing some of those phishing schemes don't be too hard on yourself.  After, all, you're no more careless than FBI Director Robert Mueller.

That's right -- the chief of the nation's domestic intelligence agency admitted at a Commonwealth Club of California talk that he almost let his own personal information fall into the clutches of phishers.  He had received an email, purportedly from his bank, that looked "perfectly legitimate".  It asked him to verify account information.

He began to fill out a response, then realized that it "might not be such a good idea".  He states, "[I was] just a few clicks away from falling into a classic Internet phishing scam... [I] barely caught [myself] in time... [I] definitely should have known better."

Worried he might have perhaps committed past careless indiscretions, he changed his passwords on all his accounts.  However, his boss -- his wife -- remained furious after hearing that he almost fell for such a scheme.  She issued an order to him -- "It is our money. No more internet banking for you!"

Ironically the news comes just as the FBI announced at a special press conference in Los Angeles that it had nabbed 33 phishers in California, Nevada, and North Carolina, and 100, in total, around the globe.  Many of the phishers were from Eastern Europe, particularly Romania.  Targeting bank information, the phishers were busted by "Operation Phish Phry", the largest anti-phishing FBI sting to date.  Describes Director Mueller, "It's the largest international phishing case ever conducted."

Director Mueller delivered some other interesting analysis at the talk.  He said that terrorists are using Google Earth as a tool to help them plan attacks.  He also took an audience question about whether people should fear the FBI reading their emails more than a teen hacker.  He insisted that the FBI does not read emails without a court order of some kind, stating, "I would worry about that teenage hacker more than you should worry about us.  I'm comfortable with the stances we've taken."

He says that if you commit cybercrimes the FBI will be coming for you.  He warns, "You hack, you get caught.  You are going to jail... You are not going to get a good job afterward. You are going to be identified as a person who has broken the law."

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: yeah it's not your emails were reading...
By quiksilvr on 10/8/2009 2:59:48 PM , Rating: 3
All calls are recorded from beginning to end, but if no keywords are spoken, it is purged. But if during that call keywords were spoken (jihad, terrorist, bombing, etc.), that call is forwarded to the database.

RE: yeah it's not your emails were reading...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/8/2009 4:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
All calls are recorded from beginning to end, but if no keywords are spoken, it is purged. But if during that call keywords were spoken (jihad, terrorist, bombing, etc.), that call is forwarded to the database.

In theory. I have, and so have millions of other people, spoken those words on the phone. And not one of us has had our doors broken down by men in black.

Shocking thought, but could it be possible the goal isn't to violate your rights but to protect you ??

RE: yeah it's not your emails were reading...
By rdeegvainl on 10/9/2009 7:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
"the end doesn't justify the means"
I could care less what the goal is. These things are run by people who want power, and the chance for it to be abused is too much, especially with no oversight. There was already a system put into place in the event that someone was suspect.

RE: yeah it's not your emails were reading...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: yeah it's not your emails were reading...
By mikeyD95125 on 10/10/2009 12:05:17 AM , Rating: 3
You are obviously full of fear.

First I'll empathize with you. The attacks were very shocking. I have been to the WTC museum in Manhattan, and it is a very sorrowing experience to see the faces of the people who died.

But put it in perspective. If you wanna talk numbers 3000 people is NOTHING! 9/11 happened once. Over 10,000 people die of domestic gun violence every year. We spend hundreds of billions on domestic anti-terrorism programs and over a trillion "The War on Terror". Is it practical? No of course not but terrorism is effective because it scares people. The most damaging effect on the U.S. was not the towers getting knocked down but our reactions of fear and some desire for revenge. I think it would be fair to say that 9/11 was the most successful terror attack in history.

Just look at yourself. You are down with the F.B.I. listening to your phone calls? I think we have given up enough privacy and rights for public safety. I'm not that into socialism. Bottom line is if you want to save lives there are many more effective ways than trying to "defeat terrorism". I don't ask anyone to throw away their gun, so don't tap my damn phone calls.

By Boze on 10/12/2009 12:15:26 PM , Rating: 1
"He who would trade essential liberty for a little temporary safety, deserves neither liberty nor safety."

Radical words, if you look at them in today's era. Not so radical when Benjamin Franklin spoke them over 200 years ago. And they are just as true today (if not more true) than they were 200 years ago.

The "problem" with America is that our system of government was founded on personal liberty. And with personal liberty comes a great power... and like Uncle Ben said, "with great power comes great responsibility." Most people on most days handle this responsibility easily. Sometimes, they don't. Sometimes they get away with that lapse of responsibility. Other times, police officers arrest them, they are tried before a judge or jury, and are incarcerated. On the whole, America is a nation that works well when it adheres to those principles on which it was founded. If it didn't, then people wouldn't be trying so desperately to immigrate here.

Does that mean I would be willing to see another 9/11 attack happen, if the Patriot Act and certain other laws were overturned? Not only would I be willing to see another 9/11, I'd be willing to see one of tenfold magnitude. Liberty must always be paramount in America, over any amount of outrage or loss of life. If it isn't, then everything our revolutionary forebears fought for, all the days in the cold mud, without shoes, without proper nutrition, with General Washington doubting himself and his men at every turn, only to eventually emerge victorious, will have been for nothing.

History has already seen one great empire that spanned continents crumble. It would be a shame to see the same thing happen to America, and it will, as long as people allow fear to rule their lives. The power to destroy a thing is absolute mastery over it; we must destroy our fears if we are to have mastery over them.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki