DoJ Exceeding Quarter Goals to Combat Cyber Threats, Prosecute Cyberattacking Actors

The Justice Department (DoJ) is meeting, even exceeding, its Agency Priority Goal (APG) Action Plan targets to combat cyber-enabled threats and attacks, according to a June update reporting the first and second quarter progress DoJ has made for FY2019.

The DoJ APG set a goal stating that by Sept. 30, DoJ will combat cyberattacks and threats by increasing the number of computer intrusion program deterrences, detections, disruptions, and dismantlements it conducts to 8,400. It also aims to successfully resolving 90 percent of its cyber defendant cases by the end of the fiscal year, too.

To reach these goals, DoJ has worked to charge cyber-attackers acting on behalf of nation-states to harm U.S. national interests, and it has also worked with other agencies – namely intelligence and defense communities – to develop and implement tools to identify and disrupt cyber threats.

In the first two quarters of the fiscal year, the FBI Cyber Division – which coordinates computer intrusion program operations – increased the 2019 annual target from 4,200 to 8,000 for the number of deterrences, detections, disruptions, and dismantlements it conducted. The update marks promising progress in meeting DoJ’s goal of 8,400, the Action Plan said.

“The FBI exceeded its quarterly targets (2,000) for Q1 and Q2/FY2019 – achieving 3,065 in Q1 and an additional 3,698 in Q2,” the Action Plan said. “To date, the FBI has already achieved 85% of its annual target by successfully achieving a total of 6,763 investigative outcomes.”

The Action Plan also reported DoJ exceeded its first and second quarter targets in resolving cyber cases.

“91.3% of the 46 cases handled in the first quarter of the fiscal year were successful, and all 28 cases handled in the second quarter were favorably resolved,” the Action Plan said. “By the end of Q2, 100% of the 70 cyber cases handled by the Department were successfully resolved.”

Moving forward, DoJ said its FBI Cyber Division will continue its coordinated operational activities to disrupt, dismantle, detect, and deter cyber threat actors, and U.S. attorneys will continue to assess cyber threat and attack cases brought for criminal prosecution to meet the department’s APG.

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