FBI: ‘We are losing to hackers’

FBI: ‘We are losing to hackers’ (AFP Photo/ Daniel Mihailescu)
If you thought hacktivists only messed with the FBI on Fridays, think again.

On Wednesday the Federal Bureau of Investigation admitted they are fighting a losing battle in cyberspace.

Shawn Henry, the FBI executive assistant director said fighting on the future "battleground" has been harder that initially thought.

I don’t see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it’s an unsustainable model,” Henry told The Wall Street Journal.

Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure; never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security,” he added

Henry has gone on record saying hebelieves “the cyber threat is an existential one, meaning that a major cyber-attack could potentially wipe out whole companies,” said Henry on the FBI news website.

The special agent since 1989 echoed his thoughts during a press conference on Wednesday, stating that the FBI has obtained data of companies that were targeted by hackers and says the businesses were oblivious to the happenings.

They are shocked and, in many cases, they’ve been breached for many months, in some cases years, which means that an adversary had full visibility into everything occurring on that network, potentially,” said Henry as reported by The Raw Story.

According to an article by ZDNet.com, Henry is on his way out of the organization after working more than 20 years with the agency and claims that the US is simply “not winning.”

Henry’s announcement comes in the wake of the ongoing cybersecurity policy debates. Many key lawmakers have been pushing for new regulations that would help regulate better online security policies.

As RT reported the Pentagon has begun research and development on a project that is being called the next-generation cyberweapon. The weapon which is in the preliminary stages would be capable of knocking out enemy networks regardless if they are connected to the web.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has also chimed in on the matter claiming that “the next Pearl Harbor we [US] confront could be a cyber-attack.” Many people have criticized Panetta saying his claims are merely “fear-mongering.”

Although groups like Anonymous and LulzSec have brought the issue to light with the recent waves of hacking US government websites and having massive data dumps disclosing private information on individuals, they have released statements claiming bringing down the country's power grid isn’t one of their aspirations and is nearly impossible.

The US military has claimed that it will meet a cyber-attack with a physical boots on the ground if the attack comes from overseas. For many this validates that the government is finally treating cyber-security seriously.

Bills such as SOPA and the recent announcement by top telecomm companies who plan on punishing Americans for copyright infringement could only prompt more attacks. As we reported earlier this month, RIAA CEO Cary Sherman confirmed that the most powerful Internet providers in America should have their new policies on the books by July 12, 2012.

[You] never get ahead, never become more secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security,” Henry concluded.

Henry who is leaving the FBI to pursue opportunities in the private sector, isn’t the only one disclosing the “cyber threat” is a growing concern.

As ZDNet.com reported, “the number of hackers arrested around the world seems to be growing, the attacks keep coming.” According to their report, the FBI is simply outnumbered and their agency is simply putting a bandage on a deep wound.