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A CONUNDRUM:
How Do You Prevent Crimes That Haven't Been Born Yet?

02/25/04

Cyberterrorism - Keith Lourdeau, Deputy Assistant Director, Cyber Division

That's precisely what Deputy Assistant Director Keith Lourdeau, FBI Cyber Division, addressed on 2/24 before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security.

The Topic? Virtual Threat, Real Terror: Cyberterrorism in the 21st Century.

The Witnesses? Besides Mr. Lourdeau, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Malcolm; Director Amit Yoran, Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity Division; author Dan Verton; and Chief Information Security Officer Howard Schmidt of eBay.

The Problem? The fact is, the interconnectedness of the Internet with national infrastructure systems has created a whole new landscape to commit crimes, and a whole new set of tools to commit them -- a fact that terrorists and criminals are just beginning to understand.

That's why the FBI -- with its state, local, federal, international, and private sector partners -- is working to get out in front of plots and schemes that are still in their formation stages. Awful things, too -- such as using Internet tools to launch cyber attacks on infrastructure systems in tandem with physical attacks... potentially paralyzing a city, a region, even the nation.

The Solution? Of course intelligence development AND intelligence sharing goes to the heart of the solution. Mr. Lourdeau talks a lot about that, and about the FBI cyber programs that enable us to both gather intelligence and share it. Things like:

  • honey pot/nets and undercover operations,
  • cyber task forces in all field offices,
  • public/private alliances,
  • international cyber investigative support,
  • mobile cyber assistance teams, cyber action teams,
  • a cyber intelligence center,
  • cyber tactical analytical case support, and, of course,
  • a program of "cyber investigators training" to bring as many law enforcement officers here and around the world up to speed on this state-of-the-art and constantly evolving field as fast as possible.

Interested in learning more? Read Mr. Lourdeau's full statement on the FBI's role in combating cyber terrorism.

Related Links: Cyber Investigations | Cybercrimes