FBI Cyber Conference: 'We are all vulnerable' - WKRN News 2

FBI Cyber Conference: 'We are all vulnerable'

Posted: Updated: Feb 19, 2013 05:54 PM

It seems every day we hear of a new cyber threat or attack that compromises either a business or personal account.

The latest are news reports that computer-hackers tied to the Chinese military have stolen massive quantities of data from at least 140 organizations in 20 major industries since 2006.

This comes a week after President Obama signed an executive order to improve protection of the American computer assets.

With these events in mind, many of the top minds in Nashville's IT community quietly gathered at TBI Headquarters Tuesday to look at what has happened during various cyber attacks, and ultimately how to protect what others want to steal.

With education and health care as two of Nashville's biggest businesses, "common criminals could be after things like medical records or student records, there is a market for that kind of information," said Kevin Flanagan of the cyber security firm RSA.

"A lot of organizations do not have the maturity to realize that a lot of these things are happening in their organizations, they don't have the right tools, processes or people to identify this bad stuff," added Flanagan.

"When we get involved in these investigations, it's often times too late," said Scott Augenbaum who heads the Nashville/Memphis FBI Cyber Crime Squad. "It's very, very difficult for us once the money leaves the bank account or the intellectual property leaves the network to get that back for the victims."

The FBI wants to raise awareness about cyber thieves, those tapping a keyboard somewhere stealing intellectual property from a company, or more simply from your bank account.

RSA's Flanagan and the FBI's Augenbaum were among the principal speakers in room that included IT specialists from universities, large corporations and law enforcement.

"Someone usually clicks on a link, and that link usually installs a key logger onto the machine which steals their user names and passwords," said Augenbaum

Thomas Pigg of Jackson State Community College cautioned against the "vulnerability of social media sites," and using the same or similar passwords for those accounts and your bank accounts.

Somebody hacks into these social media sites, where they steal these passwords and they go those bank accounts," Pigg told Nashville's News 2. "Now they are able to get into their finances."

Flanagan, of the RSA cyber security firm, said "We are busier than ever, but our goal is to share what we learn with our clients."

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