The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new Cyber-Digital Task Force on Tuesday. The group will examine both how DOJ currently combats cyber threats and ways it could improve its cyber threat response. […]

The FBI fell far short of its own goals for fighting cybercrime in 2017, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) audit. The FBI reported disrupting or dismantling 262 high-level criminal operations targeting global U.S. interests, only about half of its goal of 500, and roughly one-tenth of the 2,492 cybercrime operations it broke up in 2014.






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The May Cybersecurity Executive Order and the White House’s IT Modernization Report have encouraged agencies to look for ways to use shared services to improve cybersecurity. The Department of Justice has been looking into using shared services before the push from the White House, giving the agency a head start at shared services centered on cybersecurity for the enterprise.






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President Donald Trump signed the Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology to Eradicate Cyber Threats to (PROTECT) Our Children Act of 2017, which reauthorizes the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program through 2022.






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The Justice Department has evidence to charge six Russian government officials for involvement in the hack of the Democratic National Committee. U.S. authorities are considering charging the Russian officials to make it difficult for them to travel, but they are unlikely to be arrested and prosecuted in the U.S.






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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Oct. 18 that he has found it impossible to talk to anyone from the Department of Justice about cybersecurity legislation. Whitehouse said during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that intelligence officials have told the committee that the election systems could be hacked by foreign actors. Whitehouse is interested in working with different agencies to develop legislation on cybersecurity.






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The new administration has left little doubt that consolidation is a top priority. The first budget calls for deep cuts across most agencies. If achieved, these reductions are likely to put the squeeze on already stressed IT budgets. The search for creative solutions can and must intensify. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is pursuing a hybrid cloud model that will simultaneously address optimization, security and budget priorities—blazing a trail for other Federal agencies to follow.






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The FBI needs access to encrypted files in order to protect the nation against cyber crime, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “Encryption is essential,” Rosenstein said “It is a foundational element of data security and authentication. It is central to the growth and flourishing of the digital economy. We in law enforcement have no desire to undermine encryption. But ‘warrant-proof’ encryption poses a serious problem.”






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China and the United States will continue to cooperate on cybersecurity issues as outlined in the 2015 consensus by the nations’ two presidents. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke co-chaired the first U.S.-China Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue on Oct. 4, with Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun.






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The Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency launched a website on Oct. 2 that will house all IG reports. Before Oversight.gov was created, the IGs of each agency posted their reports on their own sites.






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The Department of Justice announced on July 20 that it was recently able to take down dark website AlphaBay and its administrator. The action was in conjunction with Europol as well as law enforcement authorities in Thailand, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France.






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The number of reported Internet crimes and the costs incurred by those crimes are on the rise, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center’s recently released 2016 Internet Threat Report. The “hottest” Internet crimes of 2016 were business email compromise, ransomware, tech support fraud, and extortion.






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Cloud infrastructure may be the safest place to store an agency’s most sensitive data, department of Justice officials said at an AWS Public Sector Summit. “I’d say it’s a pretty good place to put your crown jewels,” said Karl Mathias, chief information officer for the United States Marshals Service, adding that commercial clouds may end up being safer than an agency’s own data centers.






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The FBI is more focused on retaining and training existing employees than hiring young people who might be more technologically adept, according to Howard Marshall, deputy assistant director of FBI’s Cyber Division.






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The fact that state actors are forced to use criminal, mercenary hackers in their cyber espionage and attack campaigns is a silver lining to law enforcement looking to identify and catch the perpetrators, according to Adam Hickey, deputy assistant attorney general for national asset protection at the Department of Justice.






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