DOJ targets cybercrime

Federal law enforcement's ability to locate and prosecute cybercriminals

will be quickly overwhelmed if Congress does not approve funding outlined

in the fiscal 2001 budget for additional personnel, new technologies and

private-sector security initiatives, according to top law enforcement officials.

At a Senate appropriations hearing last week, FBI Director Louis Freeh

and Attorney General Janet Reno stressed that cyberattacks such as the recent

spate of denial-of-service attacks and credit card number hijackings are

taking up more of law enforcement's resources.

The Justice Department's fiscal 2001 budget calls for a $37 million

increase over fiscal 2000. The new money has been earmarked for focusing

on education, training and personnel needed to investigate and prosecute

cybercrime.

The largest portion of the increase, $11.4 million, would go toward

hiring 100 new investigators for the FBI's Computer Analysis and Response

Teams, which support cybercrime investigations. During the denial-of-service

attacks, agents were pulled from other projects to examine log files and

other evidence, Freeh said.

"We believe that this latest attack illustrates...the importance of

assuring that the Justice Department is adequately funded to meet this challenge,"

said Robert Chesnut, associate general counsel for eBay, which was among

the e-commerce companies attacked recently.

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