A CAREER AS AN FBI CYBER AGENT?
Here's What It's Like: Up Close and Personal
Special Agent Brian T. Herrick of the FBI's Office in Buffalo, New
Brian, you were launched on a high-tech career in private industry.
How on earth did you end up in the FBI?
Brian: It's a funny story. I was in a high-tech company that became
interested in the FBI's program to improve information sharing between private
industry and government to protect U.S. critical infrastructures. So I was
signed up in the Philadelphia "InfraGard" chapter
and later served as a chapter vice-president in Wilmington, Delaware. Working
with FBI agents did it. They loved their work, and I could see why with my
own eyes. I knew it was the right move to put my technical skills to work for
the FBI--for both public service and personal satisfaction reasons. Today,
among other things, I'm the coordinator for the Buffalo InfraGard chapter.
Can you give me a thumbnail of what you've done in your two years as
Brian: To say it's been diverse and totally absorbing is an understatement.
I focus mainly on Cyber crimes, but as a relatively "new" agent,
I've cut my teeth on a variety of cases. Things like responding to bank robberies,
providing security for undercover drug buys, monitoring organized crime Title
III's (wiretaps), and working a kidnapping. I've even done aerial surveillance
on a racketeering case that gave me the best view of Niagara Falls I've ever
What's a typical working day like?
Brian: Honestly, there is no such thing in the Bureau. This can make
it difficult to plan sometimes, but I wouldn't want it any other way. In my
computer forensic work alone on any given day I might be examining logs of
a network intrusion...interviewing an Internet fraud victim...analyzing the
seized computer of a child predator...doing research for a Cyber Terrorism
case...readying evidence for presentation to a Grand Jury...or helping out
with other cases. For example, helping the bank robbery squad retrieve some
digital images of a recent hold up from a bank surveillance camera. Just recently
I worked undercover to get evidence in an illegal software case--it was a completely
interesting experience that got us the evidence and probable cause we needed
to execute a search warrant on the subject's residence and website. I interviewed
him in New Jersey and got a full confession, which is always nice--very satisfying.
What do you like best about the job?
Brian: Believe it or not, I like the access to technology. Director
Mueller has made technology improvements one of the FBI top priorities and
it shows. I'm really pleased with the technical tools I have to do my job.
Here in Buffalo I'm part of what we affectionately call CyberSWAT--a group
of technically trained Agents who respond to network intrusions in real-time
to help identify the attacker and assist with the preservation of evidence.
We have some special software and equipment to help us--the access to emerging
technology is really excellent.
at www.fbijobs.com | Cyber
investigations | Buffalo
Cyber Task Force | Infragard