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The FBI and Secret Service are investigating even more cyber attacks

The FBI worked alongside several law enforcement agencies overseas to help prevent organized cyber attacks against eight major U.S.-based banks.

"With the increased connectivity in countries that didn't have that amount of access, and the technological advances made in corporate America that have put vulnerable financial information online, it's been the perfect storm," said Shawn Henry, FBI cyber division assistant director, in a statement to the AP."We've gotten so many requests (for help in overseas cases) that we actually have started to embed FBI personnel into the national police agencies of a number of countries."

The FBI and Secret Service have been called into high-profile hacker cases in the past, with a growing concern related to the higher number of attacks targeting U.S. businesses and banks.  The Secret Service is placing some of its agents overseas to deal with electronic crimes -- all Secret Service agents undergo extensive computer training -- but their exact job responsibilities remain unknown.

FBI officials noted a continued increase in the number of cyber attacks it has been requested to investigate, with security analysts expecting the trend to continue.

Cyber security against attacks, especially if the origin of the attack is overseas, has left security experts dissatisfied, as the number of attacks continue to increase.  The FBI also recently warned hackers are targeting law firms and public relations companies in an attempt to steal personal information of clients and customers.



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RE: Get off your collective asses
By iFX on 12/10/2009 11:04:42 AM , Rating: 3
You're right. We should just post armed men on every street corner, in every store, church, business, hospital, school, etc, etc that way we can collect intelligence from everyone, everywhere, all the time - and we'll be "safe".


RE: Get off your collective asses
By 85 on 12/10/2009 12:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes & No...
I'd like to think that majority of the people keeping us safe are a passionate about their work and work to the best of their ability with funding they are provided. It's a big world collecting all the intel would be like saying im going to download the internet today & while I'm at it, i think all read Wikipedia... All of it!


RE: Get off your collective asses
By Lerianis on 12/10/2009 1:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but you don't have artifically intelligent computers to help you, now do you? These things can have algorithims put in them to find EVERY SINGLE MENTION of certain 'suspicious' words.... such as terrorism, child pornography, etc.

Now, doesn't that make sure a little.... scared that your personal conversation with your cousin about terrorists might come under these guys radar? It does make me scared of that.


RE: Get off your collective asses
By 85 on 12/10/2009 3:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not at all!
I must agree with what the Google CEO said on tuesday,
quote:
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

I really have nothing to hide. I interpret your statement as fear that you would get in trouble for saying bomb president etc. over the phone. If that really was the case, you have 100,000 Americans locked up by the FBI every day. Personally, I think that the people complaining about their privacy all the time make it harder for the FBI to do their job.


RE: Get off your collective asses
By sinful on 12/10/2009 11:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
in trouble for saying bomb president etc. over the phone.


"Government Made" FBI-Terrorist Bot 1.4 has detected a threat from user "85".
Search warrant requested.
Bank accounts frozen.
Your employer has been notified you've been arrested for Terrorism.
Prepare for full body cavity search...

Because "Hey, what do you have to hide"? Besides, the government NEVER makes mistakes...


RE: Get off your collective asses
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/11/2009 2:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
They don't have to "request" search warrants any longer. Federal agents can actually swear out their own, and better yet, keep them secret.

In a recent dinner speech, a US Attorney responding to a question referred to the notion of a civil Jeffersonian democracy as "a quaint anachronism." I almost became sick on the spot. Looking around, nobody seemed even slightly upset.

I'm past fearing for The Republic. It's been replaced by Agencies and grey little men (and women), in grey little offices with small numbers on the door. Their mission is to protect and nurture The Agency (whichever that may be), not serve some vague, anachronistic idea of The Civil Society aka The Republic aka the United States we all learned to love. The dream is over, folks.


RE: Get off your collective asses
By Samus on 12/11/2009 5:57:15 AM , Rating: 1
Listen, I have moral issues with our current 'security' policy just like many fellow Americans, but if you read what I said, I didn't comment on our security policy.

I commented on the lazy motherfuckers that aren't doing their 6-figure jobs, jobs that involve national security. Jobs that aren't even that complicated.

Sometimes its as simple as shooting an email or making a phone call. That's all it would have taken for a review of Hasan, at it could have very well prevented mass-murder.

Honestly I don't think there's any room for arguement here. That guy in the San Diego office should be fired.


By TheOldCodeToad on 12/12/2009 6:04:56 AM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree with you about that. There is no room for excuses, especially in light of new powers and elimination, at least in theory, of silos between agencies.

I've had the pleasure of knowing and working in a limited way with some of the kinds of folks doing that kind of work. From that very narrow view my sense was those individuals seemed solid and on-the-ball.

And for the issue I raised, the only comfort I can take is that those few people seemed to be the kinds of folks who would deal straight-up with a questionable order and generally behave with some restraint while trying to do the right thing.

It sounds like you've been around as I have. We both know it comes down to individuals and how the choose to act at the moment.

On the Hasan thing, I think I remember hearing about a woman at that warm and fuzzy little agency in Virginia who was so concerned in the summer before 9/11 about inaction on the by-then well circulated file that she went all the way to her IG, only to be told to shut up and go back to her cubicle. She should have gotten a Star on that agency's wall and the damned IG should have been reassigned to a radio picket in Alaska. Kidding aside, I'm just using that to point out the obvious, that it always comes down to individuals, their sense of what's right, and having the guts to do act rather than worry only about career.

It's up to us to take 'em on, as you have when they don't do the job (naturally, that is when we know about it), or at least keep the issue out there by talking about it. My story about the regional US Attorney's speech... half of the people in a 500 seat dinner were attorneys, the other half business folks, and nobody took the guy on for essentially saying "the old American way of life is over, don't worry, trust us, shut up and stay out of the way or else!" Who's going to take on a guy like that in public? Well, at this moment I feel guilty that I said nothing. ((PS, before you think I'm some wild assed liberal, the reverse is true. It's just that I was awake for my American history courses.))


RE: Get off your collective asses
By n0ebert on 12/11/2009 3:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway.


RE: Get off your collective asses
By Smartless on 12/10/2009 2:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I mean, what can you do against an 8-headed hydra? Unless you have a home-made claymores or something.


RE: Get off your collective asses
By stmok on 12/10/2009 9:25:15 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You're right. We should just post armed men on every street corner, in every store, church, business, hospital, school, etc, etc that way we can collect intelligence from everyone, everywhere, all the time - and we'll be "safe".


That's a waste of manpower...Here's what the US Govt does:

What most American citizens don't know is the fact that the NSA is monitoring everything coming in and out of country.

How?

They have a deal with AT&T where they re-route all Internet traffic and mirror the data onto their servers. The servers are in the AT&T building on a specific level that is severely restricted to a few key people. So anything that contains a keyword in their "bad words" database is automatically flagged...The data is then sent to the NSA building in Washington for analysis. (This is where the mathematicians, analysts, computer experts, hackers, etc work...About 30,000 of them).

Of course, the data is meaningless until human-based analysis is used to "connect the dots" intelligence data. Smart algorithms in software can reduce the load, but its no substitute for a competent analyst.

Its not just the web though, all your telephone calls (phone line, mobile, satellite) are being recorded and listened to...Actually, they are all recorded in digital format, and the GUI is more like an iTunes application for the NSA analyst to select and listen to.

This is the real cost of technology. The more technically reliant you become, the easier it is to monitor you.

What the NSA doesn't do, is send out guys after you. So that 1998 Hollywood film; "Enemy of the State" is wrong in that regard.

The objective of the NSA is to be a silent intelligence gathering sensor for the US Govt. Although, the most unusual thing about them is that they don't share the raw intelligence data they've gathered with FBI or CIA; only the stuff they've processed. (Raw data is important because you can better interpret the context of the situation).

The scariest thing about the NSA is that you don't know they're there! They hack into systems not to disrupt or disable, but to spy.

The US Military's Cyber Command is the offensive/defensive arm of the country. That particular branch of the military consists of computer specialists from the USAF, US Army, and US Navy. They treat releasing a virus like dropping a nuclear weapon. ie: It must be authorized by the President of the United States.

Of course, all this wouldn't be so bad if the NSA required warrants to monitor people.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration made the necessary "adjustments" in the law by allowing "warrantless surveillance". Before 9/11, the NSA had to get warrants to start tapping a suspect within the US...Now they don't. Its a free-for-all.

The current Obama Administration continues the same stance as the Bush one. So it appears warrantless surveillance is here to stay; regardless if the people of the US like it or not.


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