via The Calgary Herald
Hardly a month has gone by this year without a multinational company such as Google, EMC Corp. or Sony disclosing it’s been hacked by cyber intruders who infiltrated networks or stole customer information. Yet no hacker has been publicly identified, charged or arrested.
If past enforcement efforts are an indication, most of the perpetrators will never be prosecuted or punished.
“I don’t have a high level of confidence that they will be brought to justice,” said Peter George, chief executive of Fidelis Security Systems Inc., a Bethesda, Md.-based data protection consulting firm whose clients include IBM, the U.S. army and the Department of Commerce. “The government is doing what they can, but they need to do a lot more.”
In the United States, the FBI, the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are confronting what amounts to a massive crime wave that’s highly organized and hard to combat with traditional methods. The hacker organizations are well-funded and global, eluding arrest except in the rarest of cases.
Attacks are coming from organized crime groups based in Eastern Europe and Russia, from industrial spies in China and from groups such as LulzSec, whose members appear to reside mostly in the U.S. and Europe and seem more interested in publicity than in making a profit from their crimes.
LulzSec took credit for hacking into Nintendo’s computers, an intrusion the Kyoto, Japan-based company disclosed recently, describing it as unsuccessful. Last week it was Google, which revealed an attempted hack, originating in China, into the Gmail accounts of U.S. government officials, military personnel and journalists. Days before that, it was military contractor Lockheed Martin, which said its network had been penetrated by an unknown intruder.
LulzSec said it also had attacked the Atlanta chapter of InfraGard, an information-sharing organization of companies that is affiliated with the FBI to thwart cybercrime.
“We are facing a very innovative crime, and innovation has to be the response,” Gordon Snow, FBI assistant director of the cyber division, said in an interview at the agency’s Washington headquarters before news of the InfraGard breach broke. “Given enough money, time and resources, an adversary will be able to access any system. Companies need to understand that.”
Pablo Martinez, who heads up cybercrime efforts at the Secret Service, compared the current challenge to early efforts the U.S. made to combat drug cartels in the 1980s.