FBI director Robert Mueller, in a keynote address Thursday at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, urged real-time sharing of cybercrime and threat intelligence between the public and private sectors akin to the type of cooperation forged to fight terrorism post-9/11.
"Real-time information-sharing is essential. Much can and should be done to share with the private sector, and in turn give the private sector the means and motivation to work with us" at the FBI, Mueller said.
The FBI is continuing to build specialized cybercrime task forces to work locally with state and local law enforcement, Mueller said. "It's a similar model to the terrorism task force, but to fight cybercrime," he said. "As we continue to share information, we will continue to break down the walls that [block] our abilities to share such information--the same way we did [after] the September 11 [terrorist] attacks."
Mueller said the FBI now has specialized cybersquads in each of its 50 field offices.
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But companies traditionally have been frustrated with sharing their breach information with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies: they say it's more of a one-way street, where they share but then never hear back from law enforcement.
Mueller acknowledged that fear in his speech, and promised that the agency will reciprocate: "You may think the information flow is one-way to us," he said. "We will share what we can and as quickly as we can ... A code of silence will not serve us in the long-run."
He said the FBI understands why companies are hesitant to share their breach information with the bureau. "We do understand that you may be reluctant to report security breaches to us because it may harm you competitively or ... will erode shareholder confidence," he said.
The FBI doesn't want companies to feel victimized a second time by its investigation of the breach, he said.
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