Cyber security is one of the main areas of concern for the FBI, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller. This past Thursday, he presented the FBI’s annual assessment of threats to US Security.
With so much of the US infrastructure depending on uninterrupted use of the Internet, it is no surprise that Cyber attacks are of particular concern to the FBI. Mueller specifically mentioned these facts:
…the nation’s security, economy economy and emergency services rely on the uninterrupted use of the Internet and telecommunications infrastructure to ensure continuity of government and military operations, financial services, transportation, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems such as water, power and fuel refinement, storage, and transportation.
Terrorists frequently use the Internet for things such as communicating, planning operations, spreading propaganda, recruiting, training, storing information, and securing logistical and financial support. Possible threats can come from foreign governments that may launch attacks on both the information infrastructure and physical infrastructure. Additionally, criminal hackers could be recruited to aid in such attacks. Also, there is a growing threat from cyber fraud activities (phishing, for example) as these attack the economy and serve to weaken it.
Regarding cyber security and computer networks, Mueller expressed concern that attacks could attempt to disrupt emergency response services or deny access to health records.
Of course, there are numerous other areas which Robert Mueller discusses in his report. In this post, I only focused on the cyber security threat. For a full transcript of the FBI Director’s presentation, click here.