FBI Director Warns of New Terrorism: Computer Attacks


FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress Wednesday that terrorists may seek to train their own recruits or hire outsiders with an eye toward pursuing cyber attacks on the United States. “Terrorists have not used the Internet to launch a full-scale cyber attack, but we cannot underestimate their intent,” Mueller said in prepared testimony to a House appropriations subcommittee.

He said terrorists have shown interest in developing hacking skills, and that the evolving nature of the problem makes the FBI's counterterrorism mission more difficult. Mueller said there are FBI cyber squads in each of the bureau's 56 field offices. The FBI has more than 1,000 specially trained agents, analysts, and digital forensic examiners who run complex undercover operations and examine digital evidence. The hacking group Anonymous embarrassed the F.B.I. 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.

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