I immediately recognized Robert Mueller as the kind of no nonsense, ex-Marine, Vietnam Vet that he was, the kind of officer who used to rip your guts out for disobeying a direct order, which in my case was frequently. President Obama thought this was the man you want for your Director of the FBI, which is why Mueller survived as one of the few holdovers from the Bush administration.
Mueller says the Internet is not just a conduit for commerce, but also for crime and terrorism, and the bad guys are checking your doorknobs every day. Information is power, and fiber optic cable is a weapon. Terrorists, in particular, love the new Google Earth application.
Recently, Mueller busted an American-Egyptian phishing ring, arresting 50, which looted 5,000 US accounts. We all must take ownership of the cyber security problem through the vigilant use of antivirus software, firewalls, sophisticated passwords, and constant patches. Tracing a 75 cent accounting discrepancy at UC Berkeley led to the smashing of a German industrial espionage ring that was tapping into university computers and getting cutting edge research for free.
Teenaged kids, like the Canadian who launched the biggest “denial of service” attack against E-Trader and E-Bay, are to be feared. Be careful what you post on your Facebook page because it may kill a job prospect years down the road. The FBI is now embedding agents in police departments in Eastern Europe and China to take the fight global.
Hacker attempts are getting more sophisticated by the day, sneaking in under hijacked trusted names like Yahoo, AOL, and Bank of America. I have screened some of these for friends myself, and they are getting incredible clever. Anyone can fall victim, including Mueller himself, who recently had his personal bank account looted. His wife has since banned him from accessing their bank account online.
When I got home, I immediately backed up all my files, reset my passwords, and bought my fourth antivirus program. I also installed bars on my windows and set booby traps on the front lawn for good measure.