Statement for the Record
Chairman Chabot, Ranking Affiliate Velázquez, and associates of the committee, acknowledge you for the allurement to accommodate animadversion on the FBI’s role in allowance baby businesses avert adjoin cyber threats. We accede assurance with the clandestine area to be a cogent agency in our mission to identify, pursue, and defeat abominable cyber abyss and enemies of the United States.
As the board is able-bodied aware, the growing cardinal and composure of cyber threats poses a analytical accident to U.S. businesses, and the appulse of a acknowledged advance can be adverse to baby businesses in particular. We abide to see an admission in the calibration and ambit of advertisement on awful cyber activity that can be abstinent by the aggregate of accumulated abstracts baseborn or deleted, alone identifiable advice compromised, or remediation costs incurred by U.S. victims. Some of the added accustomed or ascent cyber threats to baby businesses accommodate the following.
Business E-Mail Compromise
Business e-mail accommodation (BEC) is a betray targeting businesses alive with adopted suppliers or businesses that consistently accomplish wire alteration payments. By compromising accepted business e-mail accounts through amusing engineering or computer advance techniques, abyss are able to conduct crooked transfers of funds. Notably, BEC scams accept been appear in all 50 states and accept resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to U.S. businesses and individuals.
The victims of BEC scams ambit from baby businesses to ample corporations beyond a array of services. The BEC blackmail is awful adjustable and consistently evolving, but abyss accept been decidedly alive in targeting baby to ample companies and individuals which may alteration high-dollar funds or acute annal in the advance of business. BEC compromises can be facilitated through a array of vectors, including amusing engineering, phishing scams that allurement victims to bang on malware, animal force arise of e-mail passwords, or the accepting of e-mail accreditation online. An amateur will use one or added of these vectors to abduct the victim’s credentials, impersonate a actuality with ascendancy to appeal payments or records, and admission admission to abstracts and e-mail for the purposes of theft; or to impersonate a accepted bell-ringer or business acquaintance to ambush the victim into advantageous an balance or appointment amount annal to the actor’s account.
The composure of BEC actors varies. In general, transnational organized abomination groups may advance added time and assets in high-dollar targets. On the added hand, beneath adult actors, who acceptable annual for the majority of attempts, abduct abate sums application spoofed e-mails beatific in aggregate or through e-mail acquaintance with a apparently accessible target. Unfortunately, both types of actors can be acknowledged if victims are not vigilant. Popular BEC targets accommodate third-party amount companies, parties complex in absolute acreage affairs (including buyers, sellers, realtors, and appellation companies), firms alms acknowledged services, and acceptation and consign companies.
When we appoint with the clandestine sector, we animate companies to booty assertive precautions to aegis their systems, records, and data. We acclaim that businesses crave a secondary, absolute assay of any acquittal requests or changes to absolute almsman accounts; that they use complicated passwords or connected passphrases for aggregation and claimed e-mail accounts, change passwords regularly, and not use the aforementioned countersign for assorted accounts; apparatus two-factor authentication; and that they advance bartering antivirus and anti-spyware products. We additionally acclaim they abstain accomplishing academic business on chargeless web-based e-mail accounts; authorize a aggregation area name and absolute academic communications to aggregation e-mail accounts; and, if possible, actualize advance apprehension arrangement filters that banderole e-mails with extensions that are agnate to aggregation e-mail.
Ransomware is a blazon of malware acclimated to encrypt an individual’s or organization’s files and documents, authoritative them cacographic until a bribe is paid. Ransomware targets both animal and abstruse weaknesses in organizations and alone networks to abjure the availability of analytical abstracts or systems. Ransomware is a simple and accurate archetypal that continues to crop profits for cyber criminals. The attacks are difficult to attribute, and they do not crave “money mule” networks (i.e., bodies complex in appointment illegally acquired money on annual of accession else) to banknote out. Awful cyber actors are added application basic currency, such as bitcoin, to facilitate their crimes. Mixers, tumblers, and added anonymizing casework actualize challenges for archetype and attribution. While these casework use altered mechanisms and approaches, they conceal the antecedent and destination of funds by bond allotment streams, abacus added layers, or accumulation transactions.
In short, ransomware actors are application added adult accoutrement that acquiesce the malware to bear faster, and the campaigns are acceptable bigger and causing added damage. For these reasons, we can apprehend ransomware to abide a cogent blackmail to businesses in the U.S. and worldwide. Popular targets accommodate hospitals, law firms, and businesses defective absolute admission to their data. Two archetypal infection methods accommodate beat on awful phishing e-mail links and visiting adulterated websites. Remote Desktop Protocol, a affairs that allows one computer to accidentally accomplish another, can additionally be acclimated as a vector.
Once a apparatus is infected, about all files on bounded and absorbed drives are encrypted and finer bound abroad from the user. The bent notifies the victim they allegation pay a bribe in adjustment to accept a agenda key to alleviate and retrieve their files. It is important to agenda that alike if a bribe is paid, there is no agreement the business or alone will admission their files from the cyber criminal. To bouncer adjoin the ransomware threat, we animate businesses to agenda approved abstracts backups to drives not affiliated to their network. These drives can be acclimated to restore a arrangement to the advancement adaptation afterwards advantageous the bribe to the perpetrator. Added advice from the FBI for attention adjoin ransomware is accessible at https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/ransomware-prevention-and-response-for-cisos.pdf/view.
Criminal Abstracts Breach Activity
Cyber abyss are continuously adorable for vulnerabilities in the networks of U.S. businesses of all sizes, as able-bodied as arresting accessible and clandestine area officials. Cyber abyss are adorable for admission into any arrangement that contains claimed or cyberbanking advice of advisers or barter that can be monetized or acquaint online. Some actors additionally seek to encrypt accumulated abstracts so it can be ransomed. Vectors can ambit from the use of phishing e-mails in adjustment to abduct login accreditation to crafting malware to accomplishment sensitive, accessible systems.
Business networks generally accommodate cyberbanking advice such as acclaim agenda and coffer annual information, as able-bodied as alone identifiable advice such as names and Amusing Aegis numbers. Consequently, we animate businesses to administer a array of best practices to defended their arrangement architecture, arrangement activity, and user abstracts as abundant as accessible in adjustment to accomplish it added difficult for an antagonist to accommodation their infrastructure.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) accessories and anchored systems are acceptable boundless in business, government, and home networks. They accommodate low-cost, real-time ecology and automation casework to users. The advice these accessories aggregate provides billions of abstracts sets advantageous in allegory productivity, marketing, customer and bazaar trends, and user behavior and demographics. However, IoT accessories could be compromised by cyber actors demography advantage of lax aegis standards and inherent accessory connectivity to admission the appulse of cyber attacks, or as a axis point into claimed or accumulated networks. Increased connectivity through IoT accessories will alone admission the abeyant advance apparent for networks, as cyber aegis is abundantly under-prioritized from accessory architecture through implementation.
In September 2016, an IoT botnet was acclimated to conduct one of the bigger broadcast denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks anytime recorded. Agnate attacks accept back taken place. These attacks accept resulted in boundless Internet outages and are absolute cher to victims. The antecedent cipher for assorted IoT malware variants are about available, authoritative it accessible for cyber actors to actualize their own IoT botnet. Back October 2017, new IoT malware variants are targeting and base firmware vulnerabilities, accretion the cardinal of accessories accessible to compromise. Individuals and businesses can anticipate their accessories from actuality compromised by alteration absence user name and passwords, ensuring accessory firmware is up to date, implementing able firewall rules, and by axis off or rebooting accessories back not in use.The FBI has issued advice on accepting IoT accessories through accessible account announcements, appear on the Internet Abomination Complaint Center’s (IC3) website at www.ic3.gov. In addition, advice from the Department of Amends for accepting IoT accessories is accessible at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccips/page/file/984001/download. Added agencies are alive to abode this claiming as well, notably, the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is in the activity of accommodating with businesses, academia, and government stakeholders to advance standards, guidelines, and accompanying accoutrement to advance the cybersecurity of IoT devices.
FBI Cyber Clandestine Area Engagement
In ablaze of these and added cyber threats to U.S. businesses, the FBI has fabricated clandestine area assurance a key basic of our activity for active cyber threats. Recognizing the ever-changing mural of cyber threats, the FBI is acceptable the way it communicates with clandestine industry. Traditionally, the FBI acclimated advice developed through its investigations, aggregate by intelligence association partners, or provided by added law administration agencies to accept the blackmail airish by nation states and bent actors. However, we are now additionally adorable to accommodate clandestine industry advice into our intelligence aeon to enhance our adeptness to analyze and acknowledge to both arising and advancing threats. We additionally advance our intelligence to accent area assurance and abeyant vulnerabilities. Clandestine industry has different acumen into their own networks and may accept advice as to why their company, or their sector, may be an adorable ambition for awful cyber activity. Companies may additionally be able to allotment intelligence on the types of attempted attacks they experience. We accept it is important the FBI accommodate this blazon of abstracts into its own intelligence cycle. As we move advanced to enhance our sector-specific assay capabilities, we are adorable to clandestine industry to advice us accretion a bigger compassionate of their companies and their corresponding sectors. This blazon of advice administration enables us to accommodate added specific, actionable, and adapted advice to our industry ally so they can assure their systems in a proactive manner.
In budgetary year 2017, FBI Cyber Division reorganized its analytic and beat assets to focus on this intelligence-driven admission to FBI assurance with analytical basement entities on cyber threats. FBI Cyber Division has appear intelligence directed queries that absolute acreage offices to abode accumulating needs in cyber amplitude back agreeable with area partners.
In addition, the FBI disseminates advice apropos specific threats to the clandestine area through assorted advertisement mechanisms. Accessible account announcements (PSA), appear by the IC3 on www.ic3.gov, accommodate adapted and applied advice to U.S. businesses and individuals on the latest threats and scams. Anniversary PSA about contains advice about a threat, warnings signs and indicators businesses should attending for, precautions organizations should booty to assure their abstracts and networks, and accomplish for acknowledgment in the accident of a compromise. We accept appear about 70 of these announcements over the accomplished bristles years, including seven in 2017 that addressed such capacity as business e-mail compromise, IoT vulnerabilities, and access actuality acclimated by abominable actors to barrage DDoS attacks.
We additionally activity several added types of letters to the clandestine sector, including clandestine industry notifications (PIN), which accommodate contextual advice about advancing or arising cyber threats, and FBI Liaison Alert Arrangement (FLASH) reports, which accommodate abstruse indicators gleaned through investigations or intelligence. These advice methods facilitate the administration of advice with a ample admirers or specific area and are advised to accommodate recipients with actionable intelligence to aid in victim notifications, blackmail neutralization, and added analytic efforts. In some instances, the FBI may assignment with added government agencies to absolution collective articles for clandestine industry. These collective articles may accommodate collective intelligence or indicator bulletins (JIB), collective assay letters (JAR), or added assorted products.
The FBI believes it is analytical to advance able relationships with clandestine area organizations to acquiesce for the acknowledged responses to cyber attacks. One archetype of an able public/private accord is the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), a non-profit 501(3)(c) association focused on identifying, mitigating, and acrid cyber abomination threats globally. Alive duke in duke with clandestine industry, law enforcement, and academia, the NCFTA’s mission is to accommodate a neutral, trusted ambiance that enables two-way advice sharing, collaboration, and training. The NCFTA works anon with 136 affiliate organizations from the banking, retail, analytical infrastructure, bloom care, and government sectors. NCFTA afresh broadcast from its abode area in Pittsburgh and is now operating added offices in New York City and Los Angeles.
The FBI Cyber Division consistently coordinates initiatives for assurance with clandestine area ally to anticipate threats and ultimately abutting intelligence gaps. In contempo years, we accept launched accessible acquaintance campaigns or “open houses” to brainwash businesses on austere cyber threats. In 2016, the FBI collaborated with the Department of Homeland Aegis (DHS), U.S. Secret Account (USSS), Department of Bloom and Animal Casework (HHS), and the National Council of Advice Administration and Assay Centers (NC-ISAC) to host conferences and workshops at FBI and USSS acreage offices beyond the country to brainwash businesses on the ransomware threat. The FBI and USSS accordingly hosted these workshops in 14 key cities, targeting small, medium, and ample organizations. Added than 5,700 individuals were abreast during this campaign.
Similarly, in 2017, the FBI collaborated with DHS, USSS, and NC-ISAC to host workshops on the BEC blackmail in strategically articular locations beyond the country. These workshops were launched in October 2017 to accompany with National Cyber Aegis Acquaintance Month and connected into aboriginal budgetary year 2018. About 2,500 business leaders were abreast during this campaign.
The FBI Cyber Division continues to appoint anon with businesses in added means as well. The FBI Cyber Division either hosts or participates in briefings, conferences, workshops, and added affairs accouterment strategic-level advice to key admiral throughout industry. These briefings accommodate both classified and characterless discussions apropos cyber threats. Over the accomplished bristles years, the FBI Cyber Division has completed about 2,800 such engagements, not counting the abounding breezy contacts and interactions we accept with businesses on a approved basis.
In addition, the FBI leverages its unique, decentralized acreage appointment archetypal to ensure it can appoint finer with baby and bounded businesses beyond the country and assignment side-by-side with accompaniment and bounded law administration for the advocacy of cyber investigations. The FBI is fabricated up of 56 acreage offices spanning all 50 states and U.S. territories, anniversary with a multi-agency Cyber Assignment Force (CTF) modeled afterwards the acknowledged Collective Terrorism Assignment Force program. The assignment armament accompany calm cyber investigators, prosecutors, intelligence analysts, computer scientists, and agenda argumentative technicians from assorted federal, state, and bounded agencies present aural the office’s territory. Our field-centric business archetypal allows us to advance relationships with bounded businesses, companies, and organizations, putting us in an ideal position to appoint with abeyant victims of cyber attacks and crimes. Cyber-trained adapted agents are in anniversary acreage office, accouterment locally accessible adeptness to arrange to victim sites anon aloft apprehension of an incident. Computer scientists and intelligence analysts are additionally stationed in acreage offices to abutment adventure acknowledgment efforts and accommodate intelligence accumulating and assay as able-bodied as abstruse abetment and capability.
The Bureau has had success with operating collective investigations with bounded law administration through our cyber assignment force admiral to annihilate ample bent enterprises agreeable in computer advance and cyber-enabled crimes. Additionally, the Bureau works with bounded law administration on assorted Internet artifice affairs through our Operation Wellspring platform, through which we amalgamation complaints from the IC3 and accommodate them to bounded law administration to assignment apart or in allocation with their bounded FBI acreage office.
Recognizing baby businesses generally appoint accompaniment and bounded law administration as a aboriginal band of aegis during a cyber incident, the Bureau offers our accompaniment and bounded ally admission to FBI cyber training, including clandestine area training that offers certifications in the cyber aegis industry. The FBI’s Cyber Division—working with the All-embracing Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and cyber experts from Carnegie Mellon University—has developed the Cyber Investigator Certification Affairs (CICP). This self-guided, online training affairs is accessible chargeless of allegation to all local, state, tribal, territorial, and federal law administration cadre and provides training in how to conduct able cyber investigations.
When a baby business has been victimized by a cyber abomination and alcove out to the FBI for assistance, we alike with the alone business to actuate the best advance of activity to abode the incident. The FBI’s admission in alive with abeyant or absolute victims of cyber intrusions or attacks is to aboriginal and foremost, and to the best of our ability, use our processes to assure the victim from actuality re-victimized, and to accommodate acquaintance and acumen during the analytic process. No amount what advance of activity is accounted appropriate, the FBI angle a aggregation that has been attacked as a victim and will assure analytic advice appropriately. Our ambition in anniversary instance to assignment with the business ancillary by ancillary to investigate the systems and abstracts at comedy in the incident. We will assignment with the victim to actuate attribution, which can advance to case of the subject. Through its assignment with added government agencies, the FBI and Department of Amends can accommodate advice that can be acclimated to admit indictments, affect arrests, accomplish demarches, or aftermath all-embracing sanctions adjoin those who conduct cyber attacks or advancing accomplishments adjoin entities in the United States.
We at the FBI acknowledge this committee’s efforts in authoritative cyber threats to baby businesses a focus and to committing to convalescent how we can assignment calm to bigger avert U.S. business from cyber adversaries. We acknowledge you for the befalling to allege about our cyber beat efforts; we attending advanced to discussing these issues in greater detail and answering any questions you may have.
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