Justice Department Forms Cyber Security Unit to Battle Increased Threat of Cybercrime

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The United States Department of Justice announced the formation of a new cyber security unit last week, in an effort to combat this year’s record number of cyber attacks on companies worldwide. Working together with law enforcement officials, Congress and the private sector, the cyber security unit hopes to protect businesses and individuals from the ongoing threat of cybercrime.

The new unit is part of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section of the DOJ and will focus on the prevention of further instances of cybercrime, as well as investigate and prosecute hackers responsible for major security breaches.

“It is important that we address cyber threats on multiple fronts, with both a robust enforcement strategy as well as a broad prevention strategy,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell, according to Top Tech News.

According to Caldwell, two global attacks last year resulted in $45 million being stolen from banks around the world in a matter of a few hours after hackers broke into computer systems and found a way to change the amount of money that could be withdrawn from ATM machines.

While 13 people were convicted in that international security breach, hackers have continued to find ways to get past security walls and access private company and customer information. This year brought record-breaking numbers in terms of security heists on major U.S. companies, including Target, Home Depot and most recently, Sony.

“In order to combat cybercrime, a unified effort by government agencies and corporations is necessary. This more by the Justice Department is a step in the right direction,” says Bob Goodrich, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JSCAPE.

Increased Internet surveillance could play a big role in preventing cybercrime, but Caldwell says that most Americans are skeptical enough as it is about the U.S. government invading their privacy. In a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, roughly 80% of participants said that Americans should be more apprehensive with the surveillance techniques the government uses to keep track of Internet use and phone calls, according to Top Tech News.

With the ultimate goal of preventing cybercrime and holding accountable those responsible for the theft of billions of dollars and private account information, Caldwell hopes that the new cyber security unit could quell some of these fears and open the door to new preventive strategies.

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