Greater Lafayette Information Technology Society

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by Bob Verplank, Computer Visions

FBI: November 2008

Rob Woessner and Rob Herzog

The GLITS program on November 18th, was presented by Rob Woessner and Rob Herzog of the FBI. They spelled out what the FBI is doing with counterterrorism efforts. they work in the area if cyber intelligence as well. Their particular domain is to stop cyber based attack and crimes. Part of the process is to discover and warn high risk businesses of potential attacks. Some attacks might be on trade secrets and part of their job is to prevent those trade secrets from getting into anyone's hands and most especially not into the hands of a foreign government. Economic espionage takes place in a variety of ways. That would include compromise, revenge, ideology money, and ego. These tools will are used by others to get ahead by any means possible. That would include stealing the idea or innovation which is more expensive. Through many techniques are used to steal ideas. Some of those would include social engagement, elicitation, eavesdropping, surveillance, recruitment, direct theft, illicit computer use including hacking, phishing, denial of service, and other methods. One method of stealing data was employed by the French foreign service, which included all forms of illicit data collection on foreign flights especially on Air France. We were warned about the dangers of traveling including theft of data from computers, from hotel rooms, and from briefcases. We were also warned about the dangers of carrying too much sensitive data abroad.

Foreign users are especially interested in names, user names, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, pin numbers, bank account numbers, ATM cards, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, card verification data, and eBay and PayPal account numbers.

Some of the ways that terrorist groups use to raise money for illegal activities include offering people jobs on the Internet to transfer money. As they transfer large amounts of money, they are permitted to keep a percentage for themselves. As they do so they are transferring money from gray accounts to green accounts and making illegal money become usable for illegal purposes or legal purposes. Some recent cases that have come up include overpayment on rental accounts and asking for cash returns, Another recent unusual activity has involved the transfer of money from ATMs in US banks from blocked foreign accounts. Rob Herzog went ahead to describe to us how we might join Infraguard and pass on to the FBI any suspicions about monetary transactions that we might observe.

In an added note to our group, Rob Woessner said the following: our program primarily involves Counter intelligence issues, that is to say, attempts at preventing the theft of our economic/military technologies or secrets by or on behalf of foreign governments. The way we try to prevent the initial loss is to be proactive by going out and making companies/individuals aware of the threats and risks involving the possible theft of this information when they work on products or research that is potentially of interest to other countries for economic and/or military purposes. It is always cheaper and easier to steal product information or research, especially in this global economy allowing more access to this information, rather than spending the time, money and expertise required to make the discoveries themselves.

Thanks again to the FBI for our fine program and especially to Rob Woessner and Rob Herzog.

The hors d'oeuvres were supplied by Wintek Corp., Steve Belter and his group. Thanks Wintek.