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Cyber Threat: Law Enforcement and Private Sector Responses

NCJ Number
Joseph M. Demarest, Jr.
Date Published
May 2013
6 pages
This statement before the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee profiles actual and potential cyber threats to the U.S. infrastructure, Federal Government operations, and public safety in general, followed by an overview of the FBI's response to the cyber threat.
The primary malicious actors in the cyber world are foreign intelligence services, terrorist groups, organized criminal enterprises, and "hacktivists" whose challenge is to defeat cyber security efforts that restrict access to computerized databases. Malicious intrusions into corporate computerized networks, personal computers, and government systems are occurring daily by the thousands. Such attacks can pose urgent threats to the Nation's security and economy. Recognizing the significance of the cyber threat, the FBI created its Cyber Division in 2002 with the responsibility of countering cyber-based terrorism, hostile foreign intelligence operations conducted over the Internet, and cybercrime. The Division applies the highest level of technical capability and investigative expertise in detecting, preventing, and countering malicious cyber-attacks that threaten the security and safety of Americans. As part of its strategy, the FBI has developed partnerships with various law enforcement agencies, the private sector, and researchers. Part of this effort is the FBI's placement of cyber specialists in key European locations, so as to facilitate the investigation of cybercrimes that affect the United States. The FBI has improved its ability to track IP addresses back to their sources. This effort continues to expand. Some examples of successes in this international effort are provided. The FBI's efforts against cybercrime are continually examined to ensure the protection of privacy, confidentiality, and civil liberties.