CRS Insight Justice Department’s Role in Cyber Incident Response

Justice Department’s Role in Cyber Incident Response (CRS Insight): in this article, Kristin Finklea discusses the role of the justice department in the context of cyber incident response.  The article indicates that criminals and malefeasors are continuing to turn to and leverage the internet in the context of criminal activities.  This raises a number of issues given their ability toin10609 conceal their identities and obfuscate their locations, according to the article.   The article goes on to state that the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on U.S. Cyber Incident Coordination (PPD 41) outlines the government’s response to significant cyber incidents.  According to the article, PPD-41 includes the following criteria to be used to determine whether an incident is significant or not:

  • likely to cause demonstrable harm to:
    • national security interests,
    • foreign relations,
    • economy of the US,
    • public confidence in the US,
    • civil liberties,
    • public health,
    • safety of the American people

The article also states that PPD-41 directs the Department of Justice to perform the role of the lead agency directing the threat response by acting through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF). According to the article, PPD-41 also describes threat response as being comprised of:

  • appropriate law enforcement and national security investigative activity at an affected entity’s site to include:
    • collecting evidence,
    • gathering intelligence,
    • providing attribution,
    • linking related incidents,
    • identitfying additional affected entities,
    • identifying threat pursuit,
    • disruption opportunities,
    • developing and executing courses of action for mitigation of immediate threats,
    • facilitating information sharing and operational coordination with asset response

One key challenge facing the FBI Cyber Investigations is in moving from a reactionary position to a more proactive role aimed at prevention cyber events, according to the article.  The article indicates that the FBI has established an initiative identified as the Next Generation Cyber (NGC) cyber initiative.  The primary focus areas for the NGC are:

  1. strengthening the NCIJTF,
  2. building the FBI’s cyber workforce,
  3. developing cyber task forces (CTFs) throughout the FBI’s 56 field offices and adding expertise in computer/network intrusion investigations,
  4. increasing information sharing and enhanced coordination with private sector entities.

The complete article can be found 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.

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a second year student at SU College of Law. Christopher is a non-traditional student, returning 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 and in addition to being a full-time student, 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

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a second 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

Anna Maria Castillo

is a third year law student at Syracuse College of Law. She is also pursuing a Master of Arts in International Relations at 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 currently serves as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a third year student at Syracuse College of Law. 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 is a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was recently 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 has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and as an extern in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. Full biography

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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