Monday, September 24, 2007

Is Cyber Crime Really the FBI's No. 3 Priority?

Brian Krebs writes on Security Fix:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that its No. 3 priority is protecting the United States "against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes." Given the increasing pervasiveness and costs associated with such crime, FBI Director Robert Mueller should be commended for giving anti-cyber crime investigations such high status, second only to terrorism and espionage/counter intelligence investigations.

But according to an analysis by Security Fix, cyber crime remains a distant third priority for the federal law enforcement agency, at least in terms of resources applied to the problem.

That assessment is based on information from the Justice Department itself, based on a reading of a 203-page document [.pdf] justifying its fiscal year 2008 budget request to Congress.

The cyber portion of the 2008 request includes a request for $258.5 million in funding for some 659 field agents, a 1.5 percent increase over 2007 levels. That's 659 out of a total of 11,868 FBI agents nationwide, which would mean the FBI is on track to dedicate roughly 5.5 percent of its agents to cyber crime investigations. But as we'll see later, the true number may actually be lower.

More here.


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