FBI Director Christopher Wray Addresses the 2023 mWISE Cybersecurity Conference. During a recent cybersecurity conference, FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated the FBI’s commitment to combating artificial intelligence (AI) and cyberspace threats. He issued a call to action, urging the private sector and government to forge stronger partnerships in the ongoing battle against both domestic and foreign adversaries. Elements of the FBI and law enforcement are on the move against this war.
Wray’s address took place at the Mandiant Worldwide Information Security Exchange (mWISE) conference on September 18 in Washington, D.C. He emphasized the potential for AI to be exploited for malicious purposes, with criminals and hostile foreign governments already leveraging this technology. Wray stressed that the FBI is actively exploring how to ethically and legally employ AI to enhance their operations while closely monitoring how adversaries and criminals are utilizing AI, all while safeguarding American innovation in the AI field.
The primary objective of mWISE is to unite the global community of security practitioners to exchange best practices for fortifying defenses and developing advanced cybersecurity solutions.
Wray underscored the critical role of collaboration, highlighting successful cases in combating cybercrimes through strong partnerships. Notable achievements include dismantling the Qakbot malware and botnet and disrupting the Hive ransomware group. He called for even greater collaboration to focus efforts on countering cyber threats originating from China.
While several cyber programs pose international threats, Wray singled out China as a primary concern. Over the years, the Chinese government has engaged in widespread theft of American intellectual property and data. Wray revealed that China possesses a larger hacking program than all other major nations combined. With the integration of AI, China is poised to amplify its hacking capabilities further. In fact, if every FBI cyber agent and intelligence analyst were solely focused on China, Chinese hackers would still outnumber them by a staggering margin.
Wray concluded his address with a plea for strengthening public sector relationships with the FBI to ensure effective crisis response. He urged organizations not only to devise incident response plans but also to involve the FBI in those plans. Building relationships with local FBI field offices, Wray emphasized, is crucial for a coordinated and effective response to emerging cybersecurity threats.