FBI Wants to Work With Private-Sector Partners Against Cyber-Crime
The private sector is the primary victim of cyber-crime and is also the key to defeating it, FBI Director James Comey told RSA Conference attendees.SAN FRANCISCO—Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey came to the RSA Conference here with a message: The FBI wants to work with the tech industry to make everyone safer. Cyber-security threats are at the top of the list of risks that face the United States, and the FBI is taking them very seriously, Comey said in his a keynote address Feb. 26. "We want to predict and prevent attacks rather than reacting after the fact," Comey said. To achieve its goals, the FBI is using modern techniques as well as the same tried-and-true methods the agency has used throughout its existence, including the use of information sources and wire taps.
While the FBI has been doing a lot to secure the cyber-domain, it's not enough, Comey said. "We need help; we need our private-sector partners."
Part of that capability will be developed through the FBI's Binary Analysis, Characterization and Storage System (BACSS). Comey explained that BACSS is a tool that enables the FBI to analyze malware and correlate threats. Organizations can send potential malware to the FBI, where BACSS will be used to provide a detailed report about how it works and the associated risks. "Our goal is to make BACS like our fingerprint and DNA registries," Comey said.
The issue of government over-reach in the post-Snowden era is top-of-mind at the RSA conference this week, and it's a subject Comey also touched on in his keynote. "There is no conflict between protecting privacy and civil liberties," Comey said. "At our best, we are looking for security that enhances liberty." Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.