The FBI Fight Against Organized Cyber Crime

The bureau is making it personal.
LAS VEGAS -- Think cyber criminals are unorganized? Think again.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICC) is at the nexus of the fight on Internet crime. It's at the receiving end of those that have been violated as it fights the fight against organized cyber crime.

Dan Larkin, ICC unit chief, kicked off the Black Hat 2006 conference here with a keynote on what the FBI is doing to fight organized cyber crime. Larkin also tried to make the case that the FBI needs the help of people such as Black Hat attendees to combat cybercrime. He told the standing room only capacity crowd (with overflow in a separate room in which the keynote was simulcast) that the ICC gets about 22,000 complaints a month.

Industry partners provide the FBI with nearly 10 times that amount of intelligence with over 200,000 complaints a month.

"Something that eBay sees may not be the same that Microsoft sees," Larkin said. "But we connect the dots and try and help industry and us to build cases faster."

Larkin who looked distinctly out of place at the hacker gathering, wearing a suit and tie, admitted that he used to be really afraid of security researchers but he has come to learn that they're the key to the FBI's success.

For Larkin, it's all about making it personal, a point that he re-iterated time and again during his keynote.

It's personal in terms of finding the persons responsible for cyber crime and personal in terms of forging fruitful partners with industry and others to identify those responsible for cyber crime.

"Intelligence is the key," Larkin said. "We need to break down barriers."

Breaking down barriers isn't only a part of fighting cyber crime, but also against terrorism.

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