FBI: “We’re Not Winning” Against Hackers

FBIDevlin Barrett reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation’s efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: “We’re not winning,” he said.

Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is “unsustainable.” Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them, he said.

His comments weren’t directed at specific legislation but came as Congress considers two competing measures designed to buttress the networks for critical U.S. infrastructure, such as electrical-power plants and nuclear reactors. Though few cybersecurity experts disagree on the need for security improvements, business advocates have argued that the new regulations called for in one of the bills aren’t likely to better protect computer networks …

Read More: Wall Street Journal

7 Comments on "FBI: “We’re Not Winning” Against Hackers"

  1. Hadrian999 | Mar 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

    not saying it isn’t true, it probably is but you have to question his motives. nothing like stirring up some fear and paranoia right before jumping into the private security field.

  2. I think this says more about the usefulness of the FBI, than abilities of the hackers.

  3.  The world really needs to stop treating hacking as if it is magical (note: not using a k in magic on purpose, to differentiate).  The problem is excessive reliance on systems that are either poorly tested (if tested at all), and systems that have been designed by the lowest bidder, rather than the most qualified.  I’m not saying you can design a completely secure system (though, depending how little you’re actually having any given system do, it MAY be more possible than some seem to think), but I am saying we’re not even apparently TRYING.  Stop thinking you can get rid of hackers by legislation and policing, and start putting some damn funding and work into designing and implementing more secure applications. 

    And yes, as someone else has mentioned, this guy does have a very personal agenda in these statements in his move into the private sector.  But that aside, there is at least some truth to them, even if his proposed course of action isn’t the best.

  4. It’s funny how law enforcement and the military both start howling in abject terror about hackers right as legislation regarding the internet is in the Congress.

  5. anyone who spent 20 years with the FBI
    can’t be trusted to say anything worth hearing
    and this was probably meant to scare-up more “defense money”
    for the various Gestapos employed by the US

  6. Duh. Not in any real sense. They may snatch up a few web geeks here and there and scare a few teenagers into a life of discreet work for the feds (or prison time if they prefer anal rape to govt work…not that the difference is anything but semantic)…but have they made real strides in security against international espionage, crime or terrorism? No…because they decided to devote the extra man hours to busting illegal streams of movies and the occasional protestor.

    If the FBI can ever pull Congress’ cock out of its mouth long enough to assess real threats to America…they’d immediately draft a list of state sponsors and NGO sponsors  for serious internet crimes…and act on it. Until they do that…its just one  17 to 21 year old pseudo hacker after another getting the grey bar hotel treatment for illegal movies and hacktivism. 

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