Cybersecurity

FBI in the market for bad software

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Most IT systems operators go to great lengths to avoid malware. The FBI, on the other hand, is looking to buy some.

As part of its work in providing technical analysis of malicious software and hacking methods, the FBI is looking for a commercial supplier of malware. The solicitation specifies a malware feed updated daily of 30 to 40 gigabytes a day in unique malware and variants on old attacks, retrievable through machine-to-machine communication. The feed will be pulled in by the FBI, not pushed into its systems. The FBI is authorized to spend up to $25.5 million on malware, according to contracting documents.

The malware sought by the FBI includes exploits embedded in audio and video files, executable files for Unix/Linux, Windows and Macintosh, images, web pages, spreadsheets, .pdfs, and other file types.

The FBI didn't respond to questions about the solicitation, but the bureau's mandate includes conducting technical analysis of malicious software and computer-based attacks. Presumably, the malware acquisition will support cybersecurity research.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is a staff writer covering Congress, the FCC and other key agencies. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.

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