PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the recent bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh, there was special significance attached to an international forum in Pittsburgh.

The topic was cyber security. The National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance, based in Pittsburgh, held the event.

Just days after Pitt was hit by a cyber-threat disrupting classes and student life, an international conference on cyber security met to address growing international online threats.

A lead speaker was Sir Ian Andrews, the head of the British equivalent of that nation’s FBI.

“It’s not just our own personal lives and data and information that is at risk, but the very prosperity of nations is at stake as well,” said Andrews.

Speakers said government must work with the private sector to detect and deter online threats, particularly since criminals were often ahead of the curve on technology.

“We’re looking for new innovative ways to fight these cyber criminals. In many cases, they are very much ahead of us in brainpower and money,” said William Ross, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Governor Tom Corbett said cyber crime needs an international response, noting the bomb threats at Pitt.

“Most of them were filtered through anonymous web sites and set up an ocean away and then forwarded back to here,” the governor said.

Afterwards, Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg, who is also the British consul in Pittsburgh, said his school’s experience pointed to an important lesson.

“The importance of law enforcement staying a step ahead in this 21st century where cyber is so important,” he said. “So, the work being done here today is very important to Pitt and very important to institutions like Pitt.”

It’s obviously a technology challenging topic — how to stay ahead of the criminals.

A senior FBI official — who did not want his picture taken or words recorded — told the audience that the United States has positioned cyber experts in a number of foreign countries where cybercrime could be originating, albeit anonymously, but no word yet on who or where the Pitt bomb scares originated.

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