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FBI launches cyberattack reporting portal for industry

Jul. 30, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Global Intelligence Forum USA
Rick McFeely, executive director of the FBI's Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, speaks July 30 at the Global Intelligence Forum USA in Washington, D.C. (Colin Kelly/Staff)

An FBI program launched this week will provide companies a secure and standard way to report cybersecurity attacks in real time, an agency official said Tuesday.

“We did not have a structured way that we were collecting the information from companies that had been hacked,” said Richard McFeely, executive assistant director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. “We did not have, really, a form that we could share with companies to make sure we were getting all the information that we needed.”

Speaking at the AFCEA Global Intelligence Forum in Washington, McFeely said companies will use a standard form to report cyber incidents via an Internet portal. The system, known as iGuardian, is based on one state and local police had used to report counterterrorism threats to the FBI. McFeely said it was a logical leap to expand such a system to receive cybersecurity reports from the private sector.

The program rolled out Monday to 58,000 companies that comprise the FBI’s InfraGard network, an association of government and industry that shares expertise to protect and defend critical infrastructure. McFeely said the success of the rollout will determine how the FBI proceeds in making the system available to other companies.

Similar to incident reports used by law enforcement, the cyber incident reports will help the the FBI respond to cyberattacks on industry.

The information sharing won’t stop with industry’s reports on cyberattacks.

Over the past two months, the FBI has provided CEOs of more than 60 companies — mainly banking, gas and oil companies — with full briefings on data from Cyber Command, the National Security Agency and the FBI showing who is attacking their networks.

“We view our job as basically providing you intelligence, not so you can help us to identify who is doing it, but so you can defend your own networks,” he told conference attendees.

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