Some of the U.S. most important assets aren’t physical objects, but rather embedded in the information systems kept by governments, corporations, and private individuals. Terrorists and criminals are interested in obtaining this information, and are developing ways in which to infiltrate and attack the U.S.’s digital assets. The FBI’s Cyber Division was created to protect these interests and to fight crimes happening online.
The FBI’s Cyber Division’s Scope and Purpose
The Cyber Division’s chief responsibility is to keep digital information stored in or by the U.S. in both private and public networks, safe. As we move into an increasingly digital era, constantly vigilance is required to protect intangible assets. Not only is digital knowledge under threat from terrorists and criminals, there are also foreign governments, as well as rogue foreign government leaders and other groups that seek to infiltrate the U.S.’s information systems. It is the Cyber Division’s job to constantly develop new techniques for digital investigation in order to have the right tools to be able to combat cyber crime.
The Cyber Division is also responsible for looking after a vast majority of forensic investigation into crimes involving computers, data storage or other technology. The Division set up the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories in order to examine partially destroyed devices and retrieve data from them. This is essential to the apprehension of terrorist and criminals.
Other responsibilities of the Cyber Division include the disruption of the activities of digital spies, thieves and saboteurs in the business sector. Corporate espionage can cause huge losses of billions os dollars, which poses a considerable threat the the U.S. economy. Using both traditional law enforcement protocols and digital tools, the Cyber Division is able to identify and catch offenders in the U.S. and abroad.
Cyber terrorists not only seek to steal information, but to sabotage U.S. networks by unleashing viruses, botnets and harmful codes. This kind of malware has the ability to cause billions of dollars worth of damages, and the Cyber Division is constantly developing new codes to protect U.S. interests, in government, corporate and private individual’s systems. The Cyber Division also provides advice to the general public about cyber security.
Jobs within the FBI’s Cyber Division also seek to find and punish fraud, including credit card and identity theft. These are constantly growing crimes, and are increasingly used not just by individual criminals, but by international terrorist organisations.