The FBI’s Role in Cybersecurity

Today, Richard P. Quinn, National Security Special Agent in Charge for the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office, gave a statement before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Cyber Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies.  In the statement, Quinn outlined the FBI’s role in cybersecurity.  Here are the takeaways:

  • The Cyber Threat and the FBI Response.  Recognizing the broad range of entities that present a cyber threat–state-sponsored hackers, hackers for hire, global cyber syndicates, and terrorists–the FBI is: (1) “prioritizing high-level intrusions”; (2) working in cooperation with federal, state, and local Cyber Task Forces and through the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF); (3) partnering with the private sector; and, (4) coordinating overseas cyber investigations and supporting key partners, such as The Hague.
  • Recent Successes.  To name a few:
    • By “targeting infrastructure [the FBI] believe[s] has been used in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks[,]” the FBI has enabled “foreign partners to take action” and reduced the “effectiveness of the botnets and the DDos attacks[]”;
    • Operation Clean Slate–an FBI Cyber Division initiative to disrupt and dismantle botnets threatening US security–“to date . . . has resulted in several successes[,]” including the disruption of Citadel Botnet and ZeroAccess Botnet;
    • Aleksandry Andreevich Panin pled guilty in January of this year to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, charges arising from his role in developing Spyeye, which is “malicious software” that “infected more than 1.4 million computers.”
  • Next Generation Cyber Initiative.  Briefly, “[t]he FBI’s Next Generation Cyber Initiative, which [it] launched in 2012, entails a wide range of measures, including focusing the Cyber Division on intrusions into computers and networks–as opposed to crimes committed with a computer as a modality; establishing Cyber Task Forces in each of [the FBI’s] 56 field offices to conduct cyber intrusion investigations and respond to significant cyber incidents; hiring additional computer scientists to assist with technical investigations in the field; and expanding partnerships and collaboration at the NCITJF.”
  • Private Sector Outreach.  “The FBI’s newly established Key Partnership Engagement Unit (KPEU) manages a targeted outreach program focused on building relationships with senior executives of key private sector corporations.  Through utilizing a tiered approach, the FBI is able to prioritize our efforts to better correlate potential national security threat levels with specific critical infrastructure sectors.”

 

You can read the full statement here.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

is 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

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