Cybercenter Will Trace Net Intrusions

U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno announced an interagency effort to track and analyze electronic threats to the nation's critical infrastructures, such as private computer systems used to manage the financial, electrical and transportation industries.

The new National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), headed by associate deputy attorney general Michael Vatis, will include the FBI's Computer Investigations and Infrastructure Threat Assessment Center and will add real-time intrusion-detection "watch-and-warning" capabilities so that officials can identify who is attacking the infrastructure's systems and trace the attacks back to a source.

"Our telecommunications systems are more vulnerable than ever before as we rely on technology more than ever before," Reno said. The NIPC will coordinate the efforts of a number of government agencies in setting up and operating defenses against cyberspace intrusions from inside and outside the borders of the United States. Effective defense will depend on that cooperation, she said.

Reno will ask Congress to commit $64 million for the NIPC in fiscal 1999 — a sum that would allow the establishment of six additional computer investigation centers in cities across the nation. In addition, the NIPC will develop training programs for state and local agencies, which Reno said are on the front line against cyberattacks. "Criminals today have guns," she said. "Soon they will have computers and other weapons of mass destruction."

The private sector will also have a vital role to play in the electronic defense, Reno said. She called for direct electronic links between the private sector and law enforcement agencies in what she termed a "significant departure" from habits of behavior. Those closer links, however, must be set up within the confines of the U.S. Constitution and cannot infringe upon individual rights and confidentiality.

The dimensions of the threat also will require international collaboration, given the possibility that someone "can sit in the kitchen in St. Petersburg, Russia, and can steal money from a bank in New York," she said. "Cyberspace crosses borders." Reno said steps toward international cooperation are under way among the G7 nations. In December, those nations met to draw up an action plan.

One of the biggest challenges for law enforcement agencies currently, she said, is to understand the origin of a cyberattack. This can involve determining whether an attack is domestic or international and whether it is the work of a terrorist, a foreign state, a juvenile trying to crack the latest firewall or a disgruntled worker getting back at a supervisor.

For that reason, the NIPC will strive to set up procedures that will best allow government agencies to analyze the nature and origin of the attacks and to assign responsibility to the appropriate agency in a speedy manner. It also will be in charge of developing the means and methods of sharing information and equipment among agencies.

Reno made the announcement at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during a workshop on assuring the security of critical national infrastructures. At the workshop, several speakers from the private sector asked the government to abandon its restrictions on the exportation of encryption technology. A former secretary of Defense, William Perry, who was chairman of the workshop, said that although the government has good arguments for the necessity of such restrictions, he no longer agrees with that policy. "On balance, we would be better off" without the restrictions, he said.

Initially the NIPC, which will be housed at FBI headquarters, will employ 85 FBI agents and 40 employees from the Secret Service and the departments of Defense, Transportation and Energy, said Kenneth Geide, the deputy chief of the NIPC. Eventually, the center will add employees from other federal agencies and the private sector, he said. Funding mechanisms have not been made final.

NEXT STORY: Roster

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.