FBI Director Nearly Becomes Scam Victim

"Phishing" almost netted someone the on line banking details of Robert Mueller, the nation's top cop

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Oct 8, 2009  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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FBI Director Nearly Becomes Scam Victim

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FBI Director Robert Mueller's wife will no longer let him bank online.

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Robert Mueller, current Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and former U.S. Attorney for San Francisco, dropped by the Commonwealth Club this to discuss the department's efforts on line.

In one anecdote, Mueller revealed that he was nearly the victim of a fraudulent email purportedly from his bank that was actually trying to get his account details for nefarious purposes -- called "phishing" in Web security circles.

Mueller said he got an e-mail on his home computer that looked like it was from a bank, asking for confirmation on the status of his account.  He said he started answering the questions, but stopped short of completely the survey when they asked for his password.

When Mueller told his wife the story, she responded, "No more Internet banking for you."

The FBI, in cooperation with Egyptian officials, recently busted an international phishing ring, with grand jury indictments of over 100 alleged frauds in California, North Carolina, Canada, Egypt and Turkey as part of "Operation Phish Phry."

This being San Francisco, however, questions included concerns over the FBI's access to the on line activity of American citizens such as the notorious warrant-less wiretapping program, and the bureau's infiltration of activist organizations under the guise of fighting "terrorism."

Mueller argued that the FBI has achieved "a pretty good balance" between enforcement and respect for civil liberties.

Jackson West wonders sometimes how these people get and keep the jobs they have.

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