The FBI is set to launch Illicit Data Loss Exploitation (IDLE); new anti-hacking solution for companies

Data protection is a fundamental issue in the technological world in which we live nowadays, as it is sufficient that a small portion of our personal information is exposed online for multiple security risks to arise.

To help combat these risks, the FBI has begun working on a sophisticated program to prevent ransomware attacks, electronic fraud, identity theft and other dangerous cyberattack variants.

Known as Illicit Data Loss Exploitation (IDLE) this program has been designed to confuse cybercriminals using what the FBI has called “decoy information”, complicating the work of collecting sensitive data from organization and its members, report data protection specialists.

Speaking to the specialized platform Ars Technica, Long T. Chu, member of the Cyber Engagement & Intelligence Section of the FBI, mentioned: “We have invested great efforts to develop this program, sending agents to all organizations possible to create a collaborative network.”

Trying to leave behind the fight against every particular security incident, federal US agencies are trying to implement a holistic approach to preventing cyberattacks. “We try to address cyber crime as one based on some key aspects; we believe that it is worth considering some variables such as the objectives of threat actors, how often these objectives change or are updated, as well as how combating cybercrime influences this ecosystem,” Chu added.

The agency tries to establish cooperative relationships with the most important companies, as they are frequently victims of cyberattack attempts. The exchange of information on compromise indicators, IP addresses, among other data, allows the FBI to integrate a database that will be contrasted with its own records for combating these practices.

According to data protection specialists, the FBI will try to inform large companies when they become the target of a cyberattack, as well as react to cybersecurity threats in real time. The agency is also requesting the collaboration of organizations, urging them to take proactive steps to prevent these incidents.

Many details about how IDLE works in a real-world context are not yet available, although the FBI representative assures that it is not a honeypot or any other similar tools for traditional use. “Without disclosing more information than necessary, I can say that IDLE combines real information with fake data of completely authentic appearance”, concludes Chu.

International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) data protection specialists anticipate that IDLE’s primary function will be to buy time, as in the event of an attack the system could be activated to deliver false information to hackers, which will provide the company’s security teams targeted the opportunity to implement their incident handling protocols and notify the authorities of the attack.