US Secret Service: Stronger laws could help fight sophisticated cybercrime


  • By Layer 8
  • Wed, 02/05/14 – 12:24pm.
In the face of the recent Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches the US Secret Service says new laws could help bolster the country’s cybersecurity shield.

Testifying before a Congressional hearing entitled: “Protecting Consumer Information: Can Data Breaches Be Prevented?” US Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division Deputy Special Agent in Charge William Noonan said: “While there is no single solution to prevent data breaches of U.S. customer information, legislative action could help to improve the Nation’s cybersecurity, reduce regulatory costs on U.S. companies, and strengthen law enforcement’s ability to conduct effective investigations.”

Noonan said that advances in computer technology and greater access to personally identifiable information via the Internet have created a virtual marketplace for transnational cyber criminals to share stolen information and criminal methodologies.

“As a result, the Secret Service has observed a marked increase in the quality, quantity, and complexity of cyber crimes targeting private industry and critical infrastructure. These crimes include network intrusions, hacking attacks, malicious software, and account takeovers leading to significant data breaches affecting every sector of the world economy. The recently reported data breaches of Target and Neiman Marcus are just the most recent, well-publicized examples of this decade-long trend of major data breaches perpetrated by cyber criminals who are intent on targeting our Nation’s retailers and financial payment systems,” he stated.

The Secret Service has as one of its primary roles to protect the US financial system, is now leading the investigation into the Target and Neiman Marcus breaches. It is in fact the Secret Service who alerted Target to the problem.  The New York Times wrote: Target had no clue until the Secret Service alerted the company about two weeks before Christmas. Investigators who had been tracking these criminals overseas and monitoring suspicious credit activity spotted in December one common thread: charges and payments made at Target.

While he didn’t detail the exact systems the agency uses during the hearing, Noonan said the Secret Service “proactively investigates cyber crime using a variety of investigative means to infiltrate these transnational cyber criminal groups.”

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Updated: February 6, 2014 — 2:28 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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