The latest round of cyber attacks raised doubts if law enforcement is able to trace the criminals. The FBI vows to work on it but Congress is yet to tackle the country’s budget problems. FBI Director Robert Mueller, who faced Congress about his term’s 2-year extension, said there is so much work to do. He said in order to address cyber threats, the bureau has to have the proper equipment, the capability, the skill and the experience. Experts wonder if the FBI is properly equipped after the breach at the International Monetary Fund. The FBI is now looking at some changes and trainings for such probes. Homeland Security Department’s ex-official Stewart Baker said the FBI tools are limited to track attacks launched from overseas that use individual emails with specially-packaged malware to infiltrate the system. The FBI has undisclosed a number of pending hacking cases and if they have enough funding for its cyber division. Incidentally, the joint FBI-British authorities apprehended a 19-year old boy for an alleged CIA public website attack involvement.
The FBI recently received further Congress support as they concentrate on national security and criminal invasion which rose from 50% to 60%, the rest on child pornography. Cyber division deputy assistant director Steven Chabinsky said they’ve received enhancement trainings in areas of intrusion. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee wants cyber laws strengthened but may be constrained by the budget deficit pressure. Boosting its resources may be hard. Obama’s 2012 budget proposal has allocated $19 million in support at cyber attack protection for the FBI. He also wants 6 additional cyber crime-focused attorneys to be stationed overseas. The FBI is faced with recent attacks on websites belonging to the CIA, the IMF, Lockheed Martin and Sony. But Chabinsky said that over the past 2 years, the attacks have not dramatically increased, only the publicity. He admits though that they’re more visible and destructive, not only for financial gains.
Cyber attacks generally cover several servers in many countries where laws vary making it more challenging. According to Chabinsky, this is where the FBI spends substantial time and resources since they have to cooperate with foreign governments. An expert commended the FBI for focusing on cyber attacks and advised the bureau to center on groups that openly make their hacks known, like Anonymous and LulzSec.