In the same week that undercover FBI agents foiled a plot to attack the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City, a ninth bank was hit in what has been an ongoing cyber-assault on financial institutions in the United States. While these two different types of attacks, one physical and one electronic, share similar targets, both were met with two very distinct mitigation strategies.
In the case of the Federal Reserve, undercover federal agents took a proactive posture. The public was never in danger because agents led the attacker to believe he was given real bomb making materials. However, in the case of the bank cyber attacks, despite prior knowledge of being targeted for DDoS attacks, banks have been on the defensive, scrambling to stop the hemorrhage disrupting their operations. The lesson here is clear – a strong offense is the best defense against hackers.