InfraGard: FBI and Private Sector Join to Safeguard Critical Infrastructures
It's the summer
of 2003. The MsBlaster worm is unleashed in cyberspace and quickly spreads
around the globe. At least a half million computers worldwide are infected,
slowing performance and causing some systems to continually reboot. In
the U.S., a department of motor vehicles office in one state is forced
to close. In Canada, an airline carrier’s check-in system crashes.
It's the twenty-first
century: a globalized, systems-driven, networked age. Our job
is to prevent attacks—both physical and electronic—against
critical infrastructure: banks … hospitals … telecommunications
systems … emergency services … water and food supplies … the
Internet … transportation networks … postal services … and
other major industries that have a profound impact on our lives.
point of an eight-year-old alliance between the FBI and the public called
InfraGard. Our program has over 14,800 private sector members
spread across 84 local chapters nationwide. That's more than the total
number of FBI Agents.
represent the full sweep of infrastructure experts in local communities: business
executives, entrepreneurs, military and government officials, computer
security professionals, academia, state and local law enforcement, and
any concerned citizens.
of the partnership is information and intelligence sharing. FBI
Agents assigned to each chapter bring meaningful news and information
to the table: threat alerts and warnings, vulnerabilities, investigative
updates, overall threat assessments, case studies, and more. Our private
sector partners—who own and operate some 85 percent of the nation's
critical infrastructures—share expertise, strategies, and most
importantly, leads and information that help us track down criminals
a sampling of what local chapters do to protect critical infrastructure:
- Philadelphia: Developed
Incident Detection and Data Analysis Center project, which is creating
an automated cyber attack early warning system to centralize information
on online threats from participating organizations nationwide.
- Las Vegas: Helped
us capture a criminal who used his employer’s computer system to
embezzle more than $150,000.
- Los Angeles: Participated
in a two-day, nationwide simulated terrorist attack training exercise
with law enforcement and first responders.
- San Francisco: Trained
our agents to identify and stop sophisticated programs that hackers use
to infiltrate computers.
- Vermont: Offers free
classes to teach local residents how to protect themselves from
joining InfraGard? Membership is open to U.S. citizens, following
an FBI record check. For details, visit the InfraGard
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