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Target breach underscores vulnerabilities: former FBI director

The recent Target data breaches underscore the serious vulnerabilities of the nation's private sector, according to Robert S. Mueller 3d, former director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It also shows how "cyber [terrorism] will overtake terrorism in terms of serious threats to the nation," he said in a presentation at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Robert S. Mueller 3d
Robert S. Mueller 3d

"In light of the devastation wreaked by the Target incident, I see vulnerabilities in our financial system and [financial] exchanges by people who can breach it and cause damage," he said.

Mueller urged companies to collaborate with the FBI in battling this challenge.

"You, the private sector, know the threats to your businesses better than anyone," he said. "If there's a breach, we need to be there with you and get boots on the ground to investigate and see what happened."

Mueller served as the sixth director of the FBI, from 2001 to 2013. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and was sworn in as director on Sept. 4, 2001, just one week before the 9/11 tragedy.

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