Justice plans indictments to thwart cyber espionage

The U.S. Justice Department has joined the fight against state-sponsored cyber attackers and is planning not only to hand down indictments of such criminals, but also when appropriate to name the governments behind the attackers, reports Defense News.

Chinese state-sponsored hackers are likely to be high on the Justice Department's list of investigative targets given the common knowledge that they have been making regular sophisticated attacks against U.S. defense contractors.

The Justice Department's entry into cyber protection for U.S. government and businesses seeks to plug a gap left behind by other federal agencies, such as the Defense and Homeland Security Departments, the story said. DHS technically coordinates response to cyberattacks working with the FBI and DOD. DOD's Cyber Command defends military networks, but cannot venture into civilian issues unless given a green light by the Executive Branch.

As a precursor to the indictment activity, Justice has activated an obscure program under its National Security Division, which is known as the National Security Cyber Specialist network, the story said. Justice is also providing special training in the area of cyberattacks to more than 100 prosecutors.

Justice sees a variety of potential indictment targets, including the actual hackers and the governments behind them, as well as companies using stolen technology.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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