To hunt hackers, FBI works more closely with spy agencies

By Bing By Bing

In an interview, senior FBI officials stated that the top American law enforcement agencies and spies are unified under one roof as part of a modern federal plan to tackle international hacking.

The FBI claims the effort will boost hackers' tracking and prosecutions, since many are escaping prisons abroad.

It was a year in which the US Internet Crime Complaint Center announced that it collected 467,361 reports, which culminated in damages to individuals and companies totaling $3.5 billion.

The Plan of the FBI reorganizes the anti-cybercrime department and regional cyberespionage personnel.

It stresses collaborations with international law enforcement and private Internet firms who are also better aware of the actions of a hacker, says Matt Gorham, Assistant Director of the FBI cyber department.

The policy is one of the main improvements to strengthen the leadership position of the Chantilly, Virginia, government bureau.

The National Cyber-Inquiry Joint Task Force (NCI-JTF) will act as the focal hub for tracking and combating hackers inside the federal government.

The task force consists of experts from over 30 government departments, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the NSA and the Secret Service.

Gorham said the aim was to incorporate the "knowledge and authorities of all" in order to produce effective outcomes.

Another move is based on "task centres" with independent cyber units within the FBI targeted at the main cyberspace challenges, Russia , China and Iran.

Tonya Ugoretz, Deputy Director of FBI's cyber division said "We remember that for too long, some of our principal international enemies believed it was feasible to hack American networks, snatch intellectual property, endanger our vital infrastructure, and simply take no risks themselves.

"What you'll see is a constant attempt to carry to us any instruments, whether they're penalties, penalties, or other operations," Gorham said. The strategic method puts the FBI closer to the US intelligence community.

Some specialists on national security policy suggest that increased alliances may contribute to internal conflict, but they note that intelligence and law enforcement agencies have separate agendas that-clash.

"The conflicts in the goals are unavoidable," said former U.S. senior official Michael Daniel and new president of the Cyber Danger Alliance. "Nevertheless this is a worthwhile direction to go since we need to be even more understanding on the criminal landscape."

(Bing's report; David Gregorio's editing)