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IBM Works With City of Los Angeles to Combat Cybercrime

Launches New Services to Bring Enterprise Threat Intelligence to Cities and Municipalities; Launches Three Complimentary Cyber Preparedness Training Sessions for U.S. Cities Combating Ransomware
Sep 17, 2019

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) Security announced a new project with the City of Los Angeles and the LA Cyber Lab to help local businesses collaborate to fight cybercrime. As part of the new collaboration, IBM will provide technologies and data that can help give local businesses an edge when defending against cyberattacks. The LA Cyber Lab, a non-profit providing threat intelligence to local businesses, will make two new free tools available; a threat information sharing platform and a mobile application for filtering suspicious emails – that leverages IBM Security threat intelligence.

To help cities prepare for cyberattacks including growing ransomware threats, IBM is hosting complimentary training sessions for municipalities in the IBM X-Force Command Cyber Range (pictured) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they can simulate attacks and practice their response. The company also is providing new tools and technologies to help cities and local businesses better collaborate around cyber threats.

According to the Center for Strategic International Studies, the estimated global cost of cybercrime in 2018 was $600 billion1. One way to help protect against cyberattacks is via the use of threat intelligence that alerts businesses to ongoing cybersecurity threats and campaigns targeting a city or municipality. Security operation centers or industry special interest groups routinely share this type of threat activity; however, it is rare to involve small and midsize businesses. The City of Los Angeles and the LA Cyber Lab collaborated with IBM Security to build a complimentary platform where local businesses can share threat information, and where members of the community can then access that information and use it in their cyber defenses.

"Public safety in the 21st century isn't just about protecting our physical streets and neighborhoods — we need to protect the digital presence that is part of everyday life for our residents and businesses," said Mayor Garcetti. "The Threat Intelligence Sharing Platform and mobile app will advance the LA Cyber Lab's work that has made our city a national cybersecurity model, all while better defending Angelenos from cyber threats."

As part of today's announcement, IBM Security is also scaling its efforts to help cities equip local businesses with cyber defenses via new IBM offerings using the same underlying technology and threat intelligence deployed by Los Angeles. Also, to help cities prepare for cyberattacks on their own infrastructure, IBM is hosting complimentary training sessions for municipalities in the IBM X-Force Command Cyber Range in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they can simulate attacks and practice their response. City governments are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals, in fact just this year more than 70 cities in the U.S. have fallen victim to ransomware.

IBM Collaboration with the City of Los Angeles 
The centerpiece of IBM's collaboration with the City of Los Angeles and the LA Cyber Lab is the new threat sharing platform called the LA Cyber Lab Cyber Threat Intelligence Sharing Platform (TISP). This platform makes it easy for citizens to share their spear-phishing concerns and educate themselves on the latest business email compromise (BEC) or ransomware campaigns. For example, if a user submits a suspicious email, the platform reviews the email and extracts key information to search 25+ common and unique data sources to indicate the level of risk. IBM X-Force is one of the data sources used to supply the risk level. IBM X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS) takes this one step further, by correlating key information to the associated threat group and their latest attack campaign. 

IBM Security teamed up with enterprise intelligence management platform, TruSTAR, to develop the cloud-based platform. LA Cyber Lab worked with partners for this platform including the City of Los Angeles, City National Bank, IBM - as well as municipalities and services including the utilities, financial, healthcare, entertainment, and critical infrastructure sectors. These partners will share unique threat insights about cyberattacks, business email compromise (BEC) data and phishing to assist businesses in the LA-area functioning without proper cybersecurity resources.

As part of today's announcement, LA Cyber Lab also designed a mobile application that any citizen can use to submit and analyze suspicious emails to determine their risk, and if they are phishing related. This information will also help enrich the threat information on the active threats targeting businesses in Los Angeles, delivered via the threat sharing platform. The LA Cyber Lab Mobile App is now available for download on Google Play and via the Apple App Store.

Both the LA Cyber Lab Cyber TISP and the LA Cyber Lab Mobile App, leverage threat insights from IBM X-Force Exchange, which spans 800 TB of threat activity data, information on over 17 million spam and phishing attacks, real-time reports of live attacks, reputation data on nearly 1 million malicious IP addresses from a network of 270 million endpoints. These insights, combined with X-Force IRIS Threat Intelligence, can provide users with information needed to combat modern day threats.

Training Cities on Preparedness
In an effort to help cities, IBM will offer three complimentary security preparedness trainings using ransomware and other common attack methods. These trainings are designed to assist cities to better protect and prepare for today's cybersecurity threats via immersive cyberattack simulations conducted at IBM X-Force Command, IBM Security's Cyber Range in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

IBM's Cyber Range immerses attendees in simulated cyberattacks to train them on how they can prepare for, respond to, and manage a broad variety of threats. Simulations use live malware, ransomware and other real-world hacker tools to deliver realistic cyberattack experiences. The facility features an air-gapped network of a fictitious entity, used for simulated attacks. Since opening in November 2016, the Cyber Range has hosted more than 4,500 visitors including major banks, retailers, hospitals, and government representatives.

"Cities need to be looking at the root of the problem rather than dealing with threats such as ransomware as one-off situations," said Wendi Whitmore, Vice President X-Force Threat Intelligence, IBM Security. "Taking preventative steps to strengthen cybersecurity in cities now, can help them prepare for, and protect against, issues in the future. These attacks have reached the point where governments need to place an importance on them and develop response plans, similar to how they handle state of emergencies."

IBM Security Offerings

  • Complimentary Cyber Range Exercise for Cities: Developed to train cities on incident response and preparedness through cyberattack simulations created specifically for the public sector - these simulations will take place once a month, between October and December 2019, and immerse attendees in what it would be like to experience a cyberattack attack against a city. To learn more about IBM's Cyber Range and how to attend one of the upcoming sessions for cities, go to

    Cities & Public Sector 2019 Trainings:
    • October 22, 2019
    • November 19, 2019
    • December 10, 2019
  • Enterprise Intelligence Management: Similar to the LA Cyber Lab Cyber TISP deployed in Los Angeles, IBM Security has made TruSTAR's Enterprise Intelligence Management (EIM) platform available for cities to purchase as they develop their own threat sharing initiatives. The platform is designed to assist cities looking to enable businesses, government agencies, and other third parties to automatically exchange threat intelligence information.
  • X-Force IRIS Threat Intelligence: Providing cities with insights from the collective expertise of IBM X-Force IRIS researchers and front-line responders to help properly identify and measure risk, as well as respond to cyber threats in their area. Armed with this intelligence, cities can determine their threat level, identify threat groups and their tactics, as well as learn how to best respond.
  • X-Force IRIS Vision Retainer: This subscription service provides cities with 24x7 access to a team of trusted experts trained to respond to cyber threats and swiftly mitigate damages and recover. In addition, these experts provide proactive services that span developing customized incident response plans, playbooks, tests them with leadership, conducts threat assessments, dark web analysis, and more. To learn more, go to:

For more information on IBM X-Force IRIS go to If you're experiencing an emergency, contact IBM X-Force IRIS' incident response 24/7 hotline: 888-241-9812

About IBM Security
IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM X-Force® research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world's broadest security research, development and delivery organizations, monitors 70 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. For more information, please check, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog

Media Contacts:

Kelly Kane
IBM Security Media Relations

Kim Samra
IBM Security Media Relations  

1 James Lewis, Economic Impact of Cybercrime – No Slowing Down (McAfee & Center for Strategic International Studies, 2018)

IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsfoto/IBM)


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