Cybersecurity Experts, Feds to Team Up

Representatives from an early-warning cyber-alert system plan to announce next month a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (search) and the FBI (search) to increase cooperation between big business and the federal government in protecting the nation's cyber-assets, government officials have told FOX News.

The system is called the Cyber Incident Detection and Data Analysis Center (CIDDAC) and it was first created by the Philadelphia chapter of InfraGard.

The FBI's InfraGard is a communications system whereby private industry and government can exchange information about threats and vulnerabilities to the nation's vital information systems.

"CIDDAC (search) kind of gets us information that we weren't able to get before and still protect the privacy of corporations," said FBI Special Agent John Chesson.

CIDDAC attaches real-time attack-detection sensors onto participating computer networks and tracks activity in search of hackers or other bad guys.

Once those sensors warn CIDDAC of an intrusion, data is sent to the main hub at the University of Pennsylvania for analysis. The center will then notify DHS and the FBI of the intrusion.

The goal is to create a type of early-warning system that involves quickly deploying enough sensors so any attacks on massive infrastructures such as the nation's power grid can be quickly detected and thwarted.

The government says its only interest is in large-scale attacks, not individual companies' personal data, and vows that information gained won't compromise users' privacy.

"Our system reacts automatically and does a basic analysis that identifies broader attacks and even individual attacks in a real-time situation," said CIDDAC Executive Director Charles "Buck" Fleming.

Currently, corporate IT departments handle intrusions in-house and don't notify authorities. Individual companies often don't know if other companies or institutions are being hit as well.

"The hope is to be able to identify these kind of attacks either more quickly or identify things that wouldn't necessarily be spotted otherwise, regardless of who it is undertaking these activities," said Simon Szykman at DHS.

Click on the video box above for a complete report by FOX News' Alicia Acuna.