A U.S. Department of Justice audit of the FBI’s ability to investigate cyber intrusions concluded that the agency is not doing an adequate job.
The audit, which reviewed 36 field agents in 10 FBI offices across the country found that the agency’s cyber investigations are hampered by difficulties coordinating with different partner agencies and by a lack of experience in networking, forensic and counter intelligence to investigate incidents of national importance. Thirteen percent of the agents admitted to being unqualified to do their jobs.
On the bright side, the audit found the FBI has accomplished a number of interim goals set out in the Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative. The agency has identified specific tactics and techniques that are used to attack U.S. networks. It has developed an operational plan to combat such threats, including the establishment of specialized units to combat specific threats and closer cooperation with the intelligence community and law enforcement partners.
But the report suggests that cooperation may easier said than done, highlighting incidents where partner agencies were asked by the FBI to leave meetings designed for the very purpose of sharing information.
Of the three dozen agents interviewed, 64% possessed the adequate expertise necessary to carry out their responsibilities. Fully 36% were found to be ill-equipped. FBI field offices do not have sufficient analytical and forensic capabilities to support large scale investigations, the audit revealed. Some field agents commented that this was impeding their ability to carry out investigations.
You can find the report in its entirety here.