Cyber breaches kept secret

Cyber breaches kept secret
Cyber breaches kept secret

Forwarded from: Simon Taplin 

By Reuters
25 Nov 2009

Cybercriminals regularly breach computer security systems, stealing 
millions of dollars and credit card numbers in cases that companies keep 
secret, said the FBI's top Internet crimes investigator.

For every break-in like the highly publicised attacks against TJX and 
Heartland Payment, where hacker rings stole millions of credit card 
numbers, there are many more that never make the news.

"Of the thousands of cases that we've investigated, the public knows 
about a handful," said Shawn Henry, assistant director for the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation's Cyber Division. "There are million-dollar 
cases that nobody knows about."

Companies that are victims of cybercrime are reluctant to come forward 
out of fear the publicity will hurt their reputations, scare away 
customers and hurt profits. Sometimes they don't report the crimes to 
the FBI at all. In other cases they wait so long that it is tough to 
track down evidence.

"Keeping your head in the sand on filing a report means the bad guys are 
out there hitting the next guy, and the next guy after that," Henry 

He said the cybercrime problem has gotten bigger over the past three 
years because hackers have changed their attack methods as companies 
have tightened up security.

"It's absolutely gotten bigger, yes, absolutely," he said.


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