A CAREER AS AN FBI CYBER AGENT?
Here's What It's Like: Up Close and Personal
Chad H. is just back from a fascinating meeting in England with international
law enforcement officers to coordinate efforts related to a large scale
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack scheme. He joined the FBI
after 12 years of private industry computer experience and has been
a member of a field Cyber Squad for a year. He just loves the work—read
on to see why.
Q: What are
the most exciting things you've done/cases you've worked on to date?
Chad: If you want heart-pumping excitement, that happens when you're
participating in arrests and searches. But there's another even finer kind
of excitement in the everyday work: out-witting and out-thinking the subjects
who are committing crimes via the Internet. They're anonymous online, so the
chase is really on when you follow the trail of clues and evidence that ultimately
reveals their identity...and ties them to the crime.
Examples? I've helped
locate a person making Internet-based death threats before the threats
were carried out. I've worked on DDoS attacks that were crippling online
companies. I've investigated copyright violation cases aimed at disrupting
Warez groups. I've also helped identify hackers and prove they were
hacking into large corporate systems.
Q: Can you
tell me what a typical working day is like?
Chad: *laugh* So far, I haven't had a "typical" day, which
is one of best parts of the job. On any given day I might surveil individuals
allegedly violating copyright laws, conduct victim interviews, review forensic
computer evidence, debrief cooperating witness, participate in a search...or
an arrest. On other days I might meet with one of our Assistant United States
Attorneys to review a case, prepare a search warrant, or document my cases.
Q: Any advice
to prospective FBI recruits?
Chad: Please apply if you are technically talented! Cyber crime is
increasing at an astonishing rate, and we urgently need people with the skills
to contain it. Consider how rewarding it could be at this explosive stage of
technology to actually have an impact on protecting people from online criminals...and
on stopping terrorist plots cold.
Otherwise, once on
board, be prepared to be flexible, to roll with changes and adapt as
necessary. Brush up your skills in perseverance and patience. Don't forget
to bring a can-do attitude along with you and be willing to pitch right
in on whatever work you're given. For me, I'll say this: it's been a
thrill bringing my computer skills to the FBI and knowing I've made a
difference in my first year.
it: Apply to become a Special Agent