Skip to content

FBI Launches Pilot Program for Real-Time Cyberattack Reporting

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a new pilot program called iGuardian that allows companies to securely report information about cyber attacks in real time, an FBI official announced Tuesday at a conference in Washington, D.C. 

The program went live Monday and is available to the 58,000 companies who are trusted partners of the InfraGard network, according to Rick McFeely, FBI executive assistant director of the criminal, cyber, response, and services branch. (InfraGard is a public-private partnership between the FBI and businesses.) McFeely spoke at the Global Intelligence Forum USA, hosted by AFCEA.

The program uses technology that was developed for the bureau’s Guardian program, which allows state and local law enforcement to securely share information with the FBI. The program uses a trusted portal on the Internet and a standardized template to help ensure that the proper amount of information is reported in a consistent manner. “We needed to expand Guardian for a way for them to report things to us electronically.... So we came up with this template,” McFeely said. 

“It’s really been over the past year or so that the government and private sector have come together not just to talk about the cyber threat, but to act against it,” McFeely says. “We recognize that if we’re to keep pace and ultimately surpass our cyber adversaries, we must have that two-way flow of information with the private sector. Because of that, we’ve truly undergone a paradigm shift, operationally, in how we respond to cyber threat.”

Previously, McFeely said, the FBI “was not a good partner” to the private sector, but the bureau is now providing companies IP addresses and other information about how individuals are attempting to attack their systems to help prevent future attacks. Because of privacy laws, the bureau cannot reveal who is behind the attacks, however, even if they know, except for in extreme circumstances.

The FBI views its job as providing intelligence to allow companies to defend their own networks, he said.

McFeely says he would like to see iGuardian expanded once the initial stage is complete. 


Megan Gates is an intern with Security Management