FBI planning to increase focus on cyber threats

FBI director Robert Mueller told Congress today that the bureau intends to ramp up its focus on battling cyber attacks and threats during the next two years, according to Bloomberg.

“We will increasingly put emphasis on addressing cyber threats in all of their variations,” Mueller said today at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on extending his term by two years.

Mueller’s words are especially meaningful in the wake of the recent attacks on Google’s email system and major defense supplier Lockheed Martin. Hacker attacks on Sony’s PlayStation network, while not relevant to national security, have also increased public awareness of cybercrime and online threats. Mueller said the FBI will make sure “the personnel in the bureau have the equipment, the capability, the skill, the experience to address those threats.”

The Pentagon recently weighed in on cyber attacks and decided that if such an attack produces “death, damage, destruction or high-level disruption that a traditional military attack would cause,” then the attack could merit retaliation by force.

It’s good to see the Pentagon and FBI talking about cyber security on a more consistent basis and making the issue a higher priority. The last ten years have brought incredible advances in technology, but the U.S. government is considerably behind the curve at preventing potentially crippling cyber attacks.

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