San Diego, California - October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, administered by the Department of Homeland Security. This is the perfect time of year for individuals, businesses, and other organizations to reflect on the universe of cyber threats and to do their part to protect their networks, their devices, and their data from those threats.
- Within the past year, personally identifiable information has been stolen in a number of significant cyber data breaches, impacting industries like health care, government, finance, corporate, and retail.
- The use of malware by online criminals continues unabated, and of the available intrusion devices, the “bot” is particularly pervasive, allowing attackers to take control remotely of compromised computers. Once in place, these “botnets” can be used in distributed denial-of-service attacks, proxy and spam services, additional malware distribution, and other organized criminal activity.
- Cyber criminals perpetrate a wide variety of crimes online, including theft of intellectual property, Internet fraud, identity fraud, and any number of financial fraud schemes.
- Sexual predators use the Internet and social media to target the youngest and most vulnerable victims.
- And many criminals use the so-called “dark web” or “dark market” websites that offer a range of illegal goods and services for sale on a network designed to conceal the true IP addresses of the computers on it.
The FBI—working in conjunction with its many partners at the local, state, federal, and international levels, as well as with industry—takes its own role in cyber security very seriously. That role involves operational efforts—including investigating and disrupting cyber-related national security threats and cyber crimes and collecting, analyzing, and disseminating cyber threat intelligence. It also involves outreach efforts to industry.