FBI chief warns of threat of terror cyberattack

Mar 07, 2012
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies in Washington, DC. Mueller warned US lawmakers Wednesday that violent extremists could try to carry out cyberattacks on the United States and the nation needed to be prepared.

FBI Director Robert Mueller warned US lawmakers Wednesday that violent extremists could try to carry out cyberattacks on the United States and the nation needed to be prepared.

"To date, terrorists have not used the Internet to launch a full-scale , but we cannot underestimate their intent," Mueller told a House appropriations subcommittee.

"They may seek to train their own recruits or hire outsiders, with an eye toward pursuing cyber attacks.

"As our nation's national security and criminal adversaries constantly adapt and evolve, so must the FBI be able to respond with new or revised strategies and operations to counter these threats," Mueller said, presenting the FBI's 2013 budget.

Al-Qaeda recruits and other extremists "are not hiding in the shadows of cyber space," Mueller added, pointing to the group's use of online chat rooms and websites to "recruit and radicalize followers to commit acts of terrorism."

He noted militants have shown interest in hacking skills, making "the FBI's counterterrorism mission that much more difficult and challenging."

He also highlighted that Al-Qaeda's lethal Yemen-based branch publishes an English-language online magazine, "Inspire," while Shebab militants linked to Al-Qaeda in Somalia use Twitter to "taunt its enemies -- in English -- and encourage terrorist activity."

The FBI has seen an 84 percent increase in the number of investigations opened, according to Mueller. The bureau also has cyber squads in each of its 56 field offices, as well as over 1,000 specially trained staff running undercover operations and examining .

On Tuesday, US officials charged five alleged in Britain, Ireland and the United States in high-profile cyberattacks after a leader of the group became an FBI informant.

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User comments : 3

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1 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2012
Take the NPT and replace "Nuclear Weapons" with "Cyber Warfare Capability". Threaten to bomb the crap out of any upstart that try to develop such capability,insisting that only existing parties that already have it can possess it. That should do it.
not rated yet Mar 07, 2012
Dear God!! What will people do without their daily cat jokes?!!
1 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2012
let us shut down all access to these people - sure we are working with them in Libya and Syria but this cyberwarfare is the thin edge of the wedge - we must gaol as many as possible to show people the value of freedom and choice!