A Partnership That Works
One member gave us information about a financial institution victimized by an online banking fraud in which large sums of money were moved in and out of the company’s accounts. Another let us know about an intrusion into a computer system that resulted in the defacement of a number of state agency websites. A third convinced a U.S. business to contact us when it was hit with an “SQL injection” attack that inserted code into its website, enabling crooks to gain access to a company database with customer orders and credit card numbers.
In each of these cases—and many more like them—a member of an FBI-sponsored initiative called InfraGard made a difference by sharing valuable information that benefited our investigations, the organizations involved, and the larger community.
It’s a partnership that makes sense, since most U.S. infrastructure components—like utility companies, transportation systems, telecommunication networks, water and food suppliers, public health, and financial services—are privately owned and operated.
Early Focus on Cyber Crime
The program proved so successful that we replicated it in each of our 56 field offices…and expanded its initial focus on cyber crime to include terrorism, intelligence, criminal, and security matters.
Today’s Broader Focus
At the chapter level, members meet to discuss threats and other matters that impact their companies. The meetings—led by a local governing board and an FBI agent who serves as InfraGard coordinator—give everyone an opportunity to share experiences and best practices.
Dr. Kathleen Kiernan, chairman of the InfraGard national board of directors, said, “The information and intelligence flows seamlessly between everyone involved, a great testament to selfless public service.”
And in terms of our investigative efforts, over the past few years we have opened hundreds of cases as a result of information provided by InfraGard members and have received assistance on more than 1,000 others.