You can debate if there is an increase in computer hacking or the mainstream media is finally catching on, but regardless, the FBI is planning on stepping up its efforts to fight computer crime as it grapples with cyber intrusions at companies such as Google, Sony, Citibank, and Lockheed Martin to name a few.
“We will increasingly put emphasis on addressing cyber threats in all of their variations,” Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
The FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies are confronting a wave of computer crime that’s highly organized and hard to combat with traditional methods.
Attacks are coming from groups based in Eastern Europe and Russia, from China and from groups of hackers in the U.S. In other words, attacks are coming from everywhere.
The FBI has failed to make arrests in many of the most high-profile hacking attacks of the past two years.
The FBI will ensure “the personnel in the bureau have the equipment, the capability, the skill, the experience to address those threats,” Mueller said.
A review in April by the Justice Department’s inspector general found some FBI agents who investigate national security-related computer intrusions lacked needed technical skills. Of 36 agents interviewed, 13 were deficient in at least some of the necessary capabilities, according to the inspector general.
Last week, Google revealed an attempted hack, originating in China, into the Gmail accounts of U.S. government officials, military personnel and journalists. Days before that, military contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) said its network had been penetrated by an unknown intruder.
Cyber thieves stole the account data of 100 million global customers from Sony computer networks in April, the second- largest data breach in U.S. history, according to the Open Security Foundation.