Hunting down hackers has reached a new level in 2012.
The appeal of easy money and the desire for hackers to make a name for themselves has simply become too strong. Things have gotten so bad that the FBI has decided to dramatically step up efforts and modify strategies. Now instead of reacting to hacks in a forensic "after the hack" method, the Feds are hoping to become far more aggressive in taking down hacker crime syndicates.
You might be surprised to know that up until recently, the FBI treated their cybercriminal task force like a typical 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. office job. It's almost as if they thought hackers were only allowed to operate during normal business hours. Just switching to a 24/7 operation should help to accelerate the hunting down and capture of hackers within the country.
It's well known that the FBI has been lacking sufficient resources to combat network attacks. Cybercrimes have finally become such a threat to national security that the decision has been made to open the purse strings within the FBI budget to expand this much-needed service.
Even more importantly than a 24/7 shift, the FBI is reaching out to companies in an effort to respond to active attacks far more rapidly. According to a recent The Next Web article:
The FBI is forming relationships with the technical leads at financial, business, transportation, and other critical infrastructures, plus it has hired specialists to work at its Cyber Division's Cyber Watch command.
The FBI Website reiterates that the focus of this new movement seems to be on speed of information gathering -- and improved sharing of that information between the FBI, DHS, and the NSA.
The new 24-hour shifts and the establishment of a Cyber Watch Command were long overdue. Even the most sophisticated companies in the world are stuck playing defense. For too long, hackers have known that the odds of actually getting caught by the authorities are slim to none. And while these new moves by the FBI likely won't strike fear into the hearts of most professional hackers, it's a step in the right direction.
If you're a CIO, you can't expect the FBI to catch each and every hacker out there, but every bit helps. If the threat of being caught is out there, the likelihood of the hacker thinking twice about their actions increase dramatically.