The Government Thinks You Should Focus On The Adversary, But Who Is The Adversary?

Meghan Kelly reports from the Black Hat security conference for VentureBeat:

After 9/11, the FBI needed to change the way it operated. It switched its focus and looked toward identifying the enemy — a change former FBI assistant executive director Shawn Henry says needs to translate to the information security world.

Henry spoke at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas today and explained that one of the main problems with the security industry is the lack of focus on the enemy, with most of the focus on the networks themselves. Corporations, according to Henry, only pay attention to the bullets flying by their heads, not the people shooting the bullets.

“In the FBI since 9/11, we made significant changes in our organization,” said Henry. “You’ve got to assume that the adversary is on the network. I assume there are terrorists in this country… I know there are spies in this country… they’re here, what do you do?”

Henry suggests companies start dedicating resources toward intelligence gathering. Not just looking at their own networks, detecting vulnerabilities, and attempting to protect the perimeter, but rather going “down range.” Not only finding out who the attacker is, but also taking them out.

This is the first step toward the private sector helping the government. Henry calls on private entities to form partnerships and hand over network logs that effectively act like video camera footage.

But who the adversary really is is up for debate…

[continues at VentureBeat]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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  • Littlemisteramerica

    First step toward the private sector helping the government? I think they’ve been helping the government for a lonnnnnnng time..

  • BuzzCoastin

    > After 9/11, the FBI needed to change the way it operated.
    It switched its focus and looked toward BEING the enemy

  • Rooti

    If we were really interested in finding the adversaries behind 9/11 the entire Bush administration would be behind bars.

  • Simiantongue

    Witch hunting is still a favorite pass time for a lot of people. Now there is a lot of money to be made doing it too, which means anyone who gets a finger pointed at them are pretty much fucked.

    They’ve made progress though because at one time when someone pointed a finger and made accusations they actually put the accused on a trial for witchcraft. It was a show trial and the outcome was inevitable, but a trial nonetheless. Today all they have to do is point a finger and say terrorist and in come the drone executioners. Aaah progress.

  • teachpeace

    So, I had this netflix dvd sitting around for a week;  J Edgar directed by Clint Eastwood.
    It was so compelling!   A glimpse into the origins of that agency ….. Worth the 2 hr. investment.
    Even if much was speculation, it had a certain ring of truth.