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Report Critical of FBI Cybercrime-Fighting Ability 56

coondoggie writes "Despite a push to bulk up its security expertise, the FBI in some case lacks the skills to properly investigate national security intrusions. That was one of the major conclusions found in the US Department of Justice inspector general audit of the FBI's ability to address national security cyberthreats today. The DOJ looked at 10 of the 56 FBI field offices and interviewed 36 agents. Of those interviewed, 13 'lacked the networking and counterintelligence expertise to investigate national security intrusion cases.'"
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Report Critical of FBI Cybercrime-Fighting Ability

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @03:45AM (#35960674) Homepage

    The Slashdot story misreports the data, as usual. The actual report says that 36% of the agents who were assigned to national security related cyber investigations self-reported that they did not have the necessary expertise for the job they were doing.

    And those are the national-security related cases, which the FBI considers to be the most important category. It's probably worse at the regular computer-related crime level.

    They're trying. The FBI actually runs agents through "A+" training, and "Linux for Law Enforcement". After 5 years as an FBI agent on the "cyber" side, agents should be able to configure a Linux kernel and have an in-depth knowledge of the Windows registry. Those agents also have to learn all the regular FBI agent skills.

    The report points out that 41% of the FBI's "cyber" force is tied up investigating child pornography, while only 4% work on Internet fraud. That's why they're doing so badly on online crime.

  • No surprise here (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:26AM (#35962132)
    A few years ago, someone cracked my wife's VOIP account and was using it to run a phishing-type bank scam. They were less than sophisticated in their methods, and with the help of the admins at the ISP from which the attack was coming, we quickly tracked down the source. The admin agreed to leave things in place long enough for me to contact the FBI. This I did, explaining that the attack was in progress "right now" and we had copious information that would make law enforcement action a no-brainer. Again, I reported an in-progress banking scam to the FBI. What I got from them was a promise that an agent would call me the next day. That's it. She didn't, and the other admin and I did what we could (precious little) to prevent more crime. Maybe the call-taker didn't understand the issue and it's immediacy. That's a problem in and of itself, and rather supports TFA's premise. Whatever the case, the message was loud and clear. Federal law enforcement does not pay attention to "the little people". Maybe it's indifference, or may be it's technical incompetence. It is definitelty fail.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker