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Feds to private businesses: Cough up your cyber intelligence

Michael Cooney | Feb. 12, 2015
Corporations will be asked to contribute cyber intelligence to a new federal agency tasked with analyzing threat data culled from as many public and private sources as possible in order to more quickly spot attacks and attribute them to the guilty parties.

Specific types of data should be exempted, according to Richard Bejtlich, a senior fellow at the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Any cyberthreat indicators, which is what Obama wants businesses to share, should not include personally identifiable information (PII) about individuals or that hint at PII, and should also exclude data stolen from U.S. citizens, he says in a Brookings opinion piece.

Private industry is the target of attacks that seek to steal information that is damaging either to national security attacks against defense contractors, for example - or to the economic viability of large corporations attacks designed to steal intellectual property from corporations with competitors in other countries. As such, businesses collectively hold vast and valuable intelligence about who is attacking whom and how they are doing it.

The argument the Obama administration makes is that blending this private intelligence with threat data gathered by U.S. spy and law-enforcement agencies can create a more complete picture of cyber espionage and cyber warfare.


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