afternoon. Nearly 10 years ago, we joined forces
with you to defend our critical national infrastructure.
Since then, we have worked side-by-side to protect
our businesses, our communities, and our families
from crime and terrorism.
We have diverse backgrounds and different specialties--from
emergency responders to entrepreneurs, from computer
programmers to chemical engineers, from FBI Agents
to farmers. But we face the same threats to our
way of life.
Through InfraGard, you have become vital members
of a long-standing partnership between the FBI and
the private sector. Today, our partnership is more
important than ever, because the threats we face
are more diverse than ever. And the only way to
defeat these threats is by standing strong together.
Today I want to talk about what we in the FBI are
doing to protect our national infrastructure from
crime and terrorism. I want to talk about the value
of working together and sharing information through
programs like InfraGard. And I want to talk about
what each of us can and must do to prevent crime
and to prevent the next terrorist attack.
I. The FBI: Protecting Our Infrastructure
Our national infrastructure is a soft target, ranging
from bridges and buildings to public utilities and
power grids across the country. More than 90 percent
of our infrastructure is owned and operated by private
industry or state and local governments. And it
is increasingly managed by computer networks and
The Internet has opened the doors to a new world
of communication and commerce. But technology is
a double-edged sword. Entrepreneurs and engineers
are not the only ones who recognize the vast potential
of the Internet. Criminals and terrorists do, too.
For example, in Australia, a computer hacker used
a laptop and a two-way radio to hack into a sewage
control computer system, releasing more than 250
million tons of raw sewage on to the grounds of
a luxury resort hotel.
In Russia, hackers took control of a gas pipeline
for 24 hours by penetrating electronic control systems.
In Ohio, the Slammer worm computer virus attacked
a nuclear power plant, preventing the plant’s
computers from communicating with each other and
disrupting safety systems for more than five hours.
And we have all heard story after story about one
of today’s most pervasive threats: identity
theft. Every day, cyber criminals steal our most
personal information--from our financial data to
our social security numbers to our security passwords.
Terrorists who shun our way of life are more than
willing to use our technology to carry out and publicize
their attacks--from airplanes used as missiles,
to coordinated attacks on mass transportation, to
videotaped beheadings posted on the Internet.
These examples show that as technology evolves,
so does crime. International jet travel, cell phones,
and the Internet have erased geographical boundaries.
In his new book, “The World is Flat,”
New York Times columnist and author Tom
Friedman asserts that advances in technology, travel,
and communication have broken down walls between
continents, countries, and individuals. Now, anyone
can hop online, on board, or on the phone and connect
with the world.
The advantage to this is that we are collaborating
and connecting in ways never before imagined. The
disadvantage is that Al Qaeda and other criminal
organizations are using that same technology to
wreak havoc around the world. Criminals and terrorists
no longer need to be in the same room, or even the
same country, to plan, finance, and execute attacks.
Increasingly, technology and the global community
of the Internet are used not only to break down
walls, but to sustain and nurture hatred and violence.
Fortunately, we, too, are breaking down walls. We
are using technology to win the war against crime
and terror. We are creating a “flat world”
within the Bureau, and within the intelligence and
law enforcement communities. And we are working
together in new ways and with new partners.
For example, agents and analysts in our Cyber Division
protect against theft of intellectual property,
child pornography, online fraud, and computer intrusions.
Our Cyber Action Teams travel around the world on
a moment’s notice to assist in computer intrusion
and counterterrorism cases.
Our Joint Terrorism Task Forces combine the resources
of special agents and analysts, police officers,
the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, and
the IRS, just to name a few. Together, these task
forces investigate cases and share information.
We are also working with our partners around the
world to defeat crime and terrorism. We have joined
forces with the Hungarian National Police to tackle
organized crime syndicates in Eastern Europe. We
are gathering intelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan
and hunting down terrorists with our partners in
Pakistan, Morocco, and Indonesia.
II. The InfraGard Program
We are not limiting our collaborative efforts to
our international partners, or to law enforcement
and intelligence agencies. We are also working with
members of the private sector and sharing information
through programs like InfraGard.
To date, there are more than 11,000 members of InfraGard.
From our perspective, that amounts to 11,000 contacts…and
11,000 partners in our mission to protect America.
InfraGard is one of our most important links to
the private sector. We recognize that in certain
areas we lack the expertise that you possess. We
lack the specific knowledge of threats that affect
individual businesses every day. That is why we
need your help, and why we continue to ask for your
The threat to our infrastructure is broad, from
computer intrusions to breaches of physical security
to terrorist threats. Today, a command sent over
a network to a power station’s control computer
could be just as deadly as a backpack full of explosives,
and the perpetrators might be more difficult to
identify and apprehend. But we stand a much greater
chance of preventing an attack on our infrastructure
by working together.
Someone who understood the value of working together,
Henry Ford, once said: “Coming together is
a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Working together, we have already had successes.
For example, an InfraGard member in Colorado was
the first to alert the FBI to the theft of computer
software templates used by energy providers in the
United States. We might not have been aware of this
theft without the information provided by our InfraGard
InfraGard members serve as resources to agents and
analysts in pending investigations. While working
on a highly sensitive counterterrorism case last
year, agents in Phoenix turned to several InfraGard
members for information on a complicated high-tech
And in San Francisco, InfraGard members briefed
agents and analysts on risks associated with different
infrastructures, including power grids, air traffic
control, and chemical and nuclear facilities.
The InfraGard program has been so successful that
we are taking it in new directions.
In 2003, through our Albuquerque Field Office, we
started a program called AgriGard. Members of the
agricultural community share information with scientists,
academic institutions, state and local law enforcement,
and the FBI through a secure web portal. Members
can pose questions about farm and food security,
and alert the FBI to any suspicious or unusual activity.
We are implementing a similar program for those
in the chemical industry.
III. Our Collective Roles in Preventing Crime and
Partnerships enhance our collective knowledge and
improve our ability to confront criminal and terrorist
threats. But information sharing is a two-way street.
We cannot investigate if we are not aware of the
problem. Those of you in the private sector are
the first line of defense.
Let me give you an example. In late 2004, a computer
hacker infiltrated CardSystems, Inc., a credit card
processing company in Tucson, Arizona. Thousands
of credit card numbers were stolen.
When the company discovered the breach earlier this
year, representatives quickly contacted the FBI
to initiate an investigation, based on the recommendation
of an employee who is an InfraGard member. Because
of CardSystem’s quick response, we were able
to start the investigation immediately, before the
trail went cold. Unfortunately, timely reporting
like this is only too rare.
According to a survey by the Computer Security Institute
and the FBI, only 20 percent of companies that experienced
computer intrusions in 2004 reported those incidents
to law enforcement. Respondents said they did not
alert authorities because they feared negative publicity
and loss of competitive advantage.
We know that you have practical concerns about reporting
breaches of security. You may believe that calling
us will adversely impact your organization’s
image and competitive position in the marketplace.
You may need to protect confidential information
to maintain the trust of your customers and clients.
We know that putting on raid jackets and rushing
in may not be the best way to get the job done.
We need to minimize the disruption to your business
and protect your interests. But we must find a way
to stop these attacks. Maintaining a code of silence
will not benefit you or your company in the long
President Reagan once said, “To sit back,
hoping that someday, some way, someone will make
things right is to go on feeding the crocodile,
hoping he will eat you last--but eat you he will.”
Our safety lies in protecting not just our own interests,
but our critical infrastructure as a whole. There
are cyber criminals who will hit company after company.
Disgruntled employees who will use knowledge gained
on the job against their employers. Terrorists who
may attempt to harm our infrastructure in a multitude
of ways. We cannot continue to feed the crocodile.
If you note suspicious activity or an unusual event--from
a computer intrusion, to a disgruntled employee,
to a breach of physical security--notify your InfraGard
coordinator, the Department of Homeland Security,
the FBI, or your local police. We must be constantly
alert to the possibility of crime and terrorism.
There is an example that drives the point home.
Roughly one year ago, police arrested a man for
possession of homemade ricin--a deadly poison. He
had placed a large order for castor seeds-- the
material used to make ricin--with a seed company
in New York.
Employees of the seed company became suspicious
and called the FBI. When FBI agents searched the
man’s home, they found jars clearly labeled
“Caution--ricin poison.” They also found
large amounts of castor seeds and both the chemicals
and the equipment used to manufacture ricin.
We found this man before he could harm anyone, based
on the tip from the seed company employees. This
is an example of the private sector and the FBI
working together to fight crime and terrorism.
And this partnership extends “outside of the
office.” While shopping in a home improvement
store, an InfraGard member noticed several teenagers
buying items that could be used to build a pipe
bomb. He took down the license plate number of their
car, and called the authorities.
As it turns out, these teenagers were
planning to build a pipe bomb. This individual’s
vigilance and quick response to a potential threat
may have thwarted a deadly attack.
Success stories like these reinforce the need for
vigilance and cooperation.
No person, no police officer, no agency, no company,
and no country can prevent crime and terrorism on
its own. There are too many potential weapons, too
many avenues of attack, too many unlocked doors.
Baseball great Babe Ruth once said that “the
way a team plays as a whole determines its success.
You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars
in the world, but if they don’t play together,
the club won’t be worth a dime.” The
way our team plays as a whole will
determine our success.
In this era of globalization, in this flat world,
working side-by-side is not just the best option,
it is the only option. It is vital
that we use our collective resources to protect
our national infrastructure. It is by working together
through programs like InfraGard that we will win
this war. Partnerships strengthen our response against
the many forces who seek to do us harm. From Portland
to Phoenix to Philadelphia, we must stand together
to protect our communities, our businesses, and
our families. Together, we will keep our nation
Thank you and God Bless.