The FBI has introduced a team of specialists, which will be on call 24/7, to investigate cyber threats affecting businesses, critical industries and domestic security — and possibly determine who’s behind on them.
Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the bureau’s criminal, cyber, response and services branch, announced the “Next Generation Cyber Initiative” last Friday in a statement on FBI’s website.
Under the program, investigators now will be able to send findings of suspicious cyber activity to a round-the-clock post for scrutiny. The statement said the team will consist of “specially trained computer scientists able to extract hackers’ digital signatures from mountains of malicious code.”
“A key aim of the Next Generation Cyber Initiative has been to expand our ability to quickly define the attribution piece of a cyber attack to help determine an appropriate response,” McFeely said in the statement. “The attribution piece is: Who is conducting the attack or the exploitation and what is their motive? In order to get to that, we’ve got to do all the necessary analysis to determine who is at the other end of the keyboard perpetrating these actions.”
The FBI has worked to set up the endeavor since last year, and given recent attacks on U.S. industries — such as the DDoS attacks of several major U.S. banks as well as rumors of schemes being hatched to hijack customers’ bank accounts — the rollout of the cyber team comes at a particularly relevant time.
“As the lead domestic intelligence agency within the United States, it’s our job to make sure that businesses’ and the nation’s secrets don’t fall into the hands of adversaries,” McFeely said.