Washington - The Federal Bureau of Investigation's top cyber official offered a grim appraisal of the nation's efforts to keep computer hackers from away from attacking corporate data networks, saying that the current public and private approach is 'unsustainable.'
Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said during an interview that they are 'not winning' in the war against cyber crime.
Henry said that computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them.
"I don't see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it's an unsustainable model," The Wall Street Journal quoted Henry, as saying.
"Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security," Henry added.
His comments came as the government considers two competing measures designed to buttress the networks for critical US infrastructure, such as electrical-power plants and nuclear reactors, the report said.
According to the paper, Henry said FBI agents are increasingly coming across data stolen from companies whose executives had no idea their systems had been accessed.
"We have found their data in the middle of other investigations. They are shocked and, in many cases, they've been breached for many months, in some cases years, which means that an adversary had full visibility into everything occurring on that network, potentially," he said.
Henry said while many company executives recognize the severity of the problem, many others do not, and that has frustrated him.
"Even when companies build up their defenses, their systems are still penetrated. We've been playing defense for a long time. You can only build a fence so high, and what we've found is that the offense outpaces the defense, and the offense is better than the defense," he added.