FBI: terrorist groups might use hackers to attack U.S.

FBI: terrorist groups might use hackers to attack U.S.

PanARMENIAN.Net - A day after the authorities arrested several hackers from the Anonymous movement, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, warned members of Congress that terrorist groups might use hackers to attack the United States, The New York Times reported.

“Terrorists have shown interest in pursuing hacking skills,” Mr. Mueller said Wednesday, March 7, in written testimony to a House appropriations subcommittee reviewing the bureau’s budget. “And they may seek to train their own recruits or hire outsiders, with an eye toward pursuing cyberattacks. These adaptations of the terrorist threat make the FBI’s counterterrorism mission that much more difficult and challenging.”

Mr. Mueller said that the federal government must act swiftly to prevent such attacks and economic espionage from other countries because they pose a “potentially devastating” threat to the country’s businesses and infrastructure.

“We tend to focus on protecting our databases, protecting our infrastructure, which is absolutely an appropriate focus,” he said. “But we should not forget that you want to identify these individuals who are responsible for these crimes, investigate them, prosecute them and put them in jail for a substantial period of time.”

Mr. Mueller has been particularly vocal over the past week about the issue of hacking and cybersecurity. Last Thursday at the RSA computer security conference in San Francisco, Mr. Mueller said that a terrorist had proclaimed in a recruiting video “that cyberwarfare will be the warfare of the future.”

Anonymous embarrassed the FBI. in February when it posted a 16-minute recording of a conference between the bureau and law enforcement officials in Europe about their joint investigation into the hackers. The group has supported the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks and has claimed responsibility for hacking the Web site of a law firm that represented a Marine accused of killing unarmed civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005.

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