Cyber crime today is becoming increasingly complex and international in nature. A domestic cyber breach can quickly change into a convoluted, on-line ID theft or global money laundering matter. To effectively address such crimes, organizations must quickly identify and leverage the most complete intelligence and be capable of following that trail wherever it leads.
The NCFTA, a non-profit corporation, evolved from one of the nation’s first High Tech Task Forces and, since 1997, has established an expansive alliance between subject matter experts (SMEs) in the public and private sectors (more than 500 worldwide) with the goal of addressing complex and often internationally-spawned cyber crimes. These SMEs, from industry, academia and government, each bring specific talents and experiences to the partnership. Through a steady cycling of such cross-sector national and international resources, both embedded at the NCFTA and through initiative-specific intelligence channels, the NCFTA is well positioned to adapt and regularly reinvent itself to better address today’s evolving threat landscape.
The NCFTA was developed with these fundamental acknowledgments and enlists SMEs from hundreds of stakeholder organizations to share real-time intelligence regarding today’s global cyber threats. This unique collaboration also supports the development of joint proactive strategies to better identity, mitigate and ultimately neutralize that threat. As part of its expanding base of supporters, the NCFTA currently has formal partnership/agreements with more than 40 US private sector organizations and more than 15 US and international law enforcement (LE) or regulatory agencies.
Acknowledgments by GAO and the Obama Administration
In a 2007 report on cyber crime, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) specifically acknowledged the NCFTA as the type of public and private sector partnership necessary to address complex cyber crimes. Similarly, the President’s 2009, 60-day comprehensive “clean-slate” review to assess U.S. cyber-security, cited the NCFTA as an “effective model” that “has a clearly defined institutional mission, well-defined roles and responsibilities for participants, and a clear value proposition that creates incentives for members to participate” while “establishing and maintaining an environment of trust among the members.”
The primary objectives of this public/private alliance are to:
Selected relationships with the NCFTA are viewed/evaluated primarily on what an organization brings to the equation (value added–in line with the above objectives)
In an effort to streamline intelligence exchange, the NCFTA regularly organizes SME and LE interaction into threat-specific initiatives. Once a significant cyber crime trend is realized and a stakeholder consensus defined, an initiative is developed wherein the NCFTA manages the collection and sharing of intelligence with industry partners, appropriate LE, and other cross-sector SMEs. The objective of each initiative is to develop real-time intelligence to an actionable level in order to identify and mitigate threats, identify threat actors, and provide intelligence to domestic and international LE to neutralize the threats. Through these initiatives, hundreds of criminal (and some civil) investigations have been launched, which otherwise would not have been addressed, with successful prosecutions of more than 300 cyber criminals worldwide. In further support of these initiatives, the NCFTA has produced more than 400 cyber threat intelligence reports over the past three years alone.
NCFTA JOINS TARGET’S CYBERSECURITY COALITION
The National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) is pleased to join Target, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), and the Better Business Bureaus (BBB) to form a coalition to assist in educational awareness of cyber threat activity affecting all consumers.
When Target approached the NCFTA to be a part of this coalition, we were thrilled and honored. Target has a long standing history and distinction of trust and doing the right thing. Their approach to this adverse situation is not surprising, given their core values as a company and their commitment to communities. The NCFTA is very proud to work with such trustworthy national organizations like Target, the BBB and the NSCA towards a safer cyber future for everyone, consumers and businesses.
In today's highly connected digital world, it is more important than ever for people to be more vigilant in regards to their cyber hygiene. Education, knowledge and awareness to all of the schemes and techniques are critical to protect ourselves. None of us are immune – from a personal or business perspective – but all of us can take steps to educate ourselves against the threats. Cyber threats are constantly evolving and increasing complex.
Now, it is more important than ever to teach and spread the word to employees, friends, family, how to protect themselves from cyber criminals and threats. When Target considered NCFTA as part of this coalition, we were truly honored to work with the BBB and NSCA in this worthy effort.
Target’s Newsletter – “A Bullseye View”: http://www.abullseyeview.com/category/databreach//
National Cyber Security Alliance: http://staysafeonline.org/
Better Business Bureaus: http://www.bbb.org/council/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Fleishman-Hillard Alex Kepnes, 703-575-8900 [email protected] PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT, FBI, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, AND UNITED KINGDOM OFFICIALS TO ADDRESS GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY COLLABORATION ON FIGHTING CYBER THREATS Forum to Focus on Steps Industry and Government Must Take to Address Cyber Threats at National, State and Local Levels [...]
Individuals should be vigilant of emails concerning tax refunds. Fraudsters consistently send spam appearing to be from the IRS and financial institutions containing a link to a phishing website and/or malware typically during tax season in the US. Fraudsters then attempt to either socially engineer potential victims and/or infect their computers in order to gain [...]
The NCFTA, along with its law enforcement and industry partners, has observed that cyber criminals are gaining access to compromised email accounts and leveraging the relationship between the email account holder and their financial advisor to request unauthorized wire transfers. The criminals either use the existing email address or slightly change the email address by adding or supplementing a letter or number. The criminals then typically attempt to socially engineer the advisor through stories of hardship or loss in order to justify the wire transfer.
Once the criminals have verified the amount in the account, they request that funds be sent to bank accounts in the US, Australia, and Malaysia. Some of the funds sent to US and Australian accounts have ultimately been sent to Malaysian accounts. Some of the money mules were recruited by romance scams on dating websites. Banks, brokerage firms, and credit unions of all sizes have been affected by this scam.
Please see http://www.ic3.gov/media/2012/EmailFraudWireTransferAlert.pdf for additional information on this scam and guidance on how to report such incidents to law enforcement.