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FBI cyber boss gets bigger portfolio

Wikimedia image: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) logo.

The FBI has given one of its top cyber officials a new assignment. Joseph Demarest, who had been assistant director of the bureau’s cyber division since 2012, is now associate executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.

The new position, created by FBI Director James Comey, expands Demarest’s portfolio beyond cybersecurity to include criminal investigations, incident response and international operations.

As the branch’s second-in-command, Demarest will be “providing technical advice and guidance across  components while establishing and nurturing relationships with federal, state, and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” Comey said in a statement.

Demarest was at the forefront of the Obama administration’s public relations campaign to persuade skeptics that North Korea was behind the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. In January, he told reporters that investigators had concluded it was “clearly North Korea or a proxy put up by North Korea” responsible for the cyberattack.

James Trainor, previously Demarest’s deputy, is now acting assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, according to spokesman Joshua Campbell.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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