FBI joins hands with spy agencies to hunt down foreign hackers

WASHINGTON (US) – A senior FBI officer said that the country’s top law enforcement agency has joined hands with spies as part of the US federal strategy to fight overseas hackers.

According to the FBI, this is aimed at improving the targeting and prosecution of foreign hackers who target US establishments.

This comes a year after which the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported a total of 467,361 complaints, which resulted in losses amounting to $3.5 billion (£2.7 billion) to individuals and firms.

The new strategy reorganises the FBI’s anti cybercrime and foreign cyberespionage workforces.

It also stresses partnership with overseas law enforcement agencies and private internet companies, which have the best information about a hacker’s activities, said FBI cyber division assistant director Matt Gorham.

As part of the new strategy, the Virginia-based National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, or NCI-JTF, will become the hub of the federal government’s efforts to keep track of overseas hackers.

The task force will comprise experts from more than 30 federal agencies, including the CIA, National Security Agency, and Secret Service.

According to Gorham, the aim is to combine “everyone’s tools and authorities” for better results.

Another change will be renewed focus on “mission centers” having separate cyber divisions within the FBI which will watch out for interference from Russia, China and Iran, which are the greatest threats to the US in cyberspace.

“We recognize that for too long some of our primary foreign adversaries have felt they can compromise US networks, steal intellectual property, hold our critical infrastructure at risk, and really not face any risk themselves,” said Tonya Ugoretz, deputy assistant director for the FBI’s cyber division.

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