Attacks/Breaches

1/10/2018
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FBI Director: Cryptocurrency, Nation-State Attacks, Among Agency's Top Cybersecurity Concerns

Speaking at International Conference on Cyber Security, FBI director Christopher Wray pointed to a rise in nation-state attacks - and strong encryption that limits bureau investigations.

FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined a list of growing cybersecurity concerns his agency faces during a speech this week at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York.

A rise in nation-state sponsored computer intrusion attacks, growing frequency in "blended threats" involving nation-states that hire cybercriminals to do the work, advancements in artificial intelligence, and the emergence of cryptocurrency, are all contributing to the concerns and challenges to the agency, Wray says.

He also cited an increase in the number of cases where the FBI was unable to access electronic evidence. Last fiscal year, the number of those type of cases included 7,775 devices. "The FBI supports information security measures, including strong encryption. But information security programs need to be thoughtfully designed so they don't undermine the lawful tools we need to keep this country safe," he said.

Wray also highlighted improvements made to the agency's cybersecurity operations. The FBI now assigns work based on an agent's cybersecurity experience rather than jurisdiction; Cyber Action Teams have been formed for quick deployment; every field office has a Cyber Task Force; and indictments and US Treasury Department sanctions will be sought even if a defendant can't be apprehended.

Read more about Wray's comments here.

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