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The FBI and fellow agencies not only have proved helpless against Russian and Chinese cyberattacks in recent months, but they've also mistakenly raided the homes of innocent citizens and brutalized them in due to sloppy detective work in cybercriminal investigations.  (Source: No Lies Radio)

A recent government report found one in three FBI cyber-security agents is incompetent. It also found that the agency's leadership was guilty of mismanaging the cybersecurity program.  (Source: FBI)
Apparently lack of staffing isn't the only problem afflicting America's weak cyberdefenses

America's cyberdefenses are disturbingly weak according to numerous reports both from the government and the private sector.  Three out of four advisors to former President George W. Bush predicted that a major attack on a U.S. utility would occur within two years, depriving Americans of vital service.  Individuals in China and Russia are suspected of breaking into government systems on a regular basis and stealing information.

But the America's cybersecurity isn't so abysmal merely from underfunding.  According to a recent U.S. Department of Justice report [PDF], it is also suffering from internal incompetence and mismanagement.

The DOJ's inspector general's office performed an audit of cybersecurity staff at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations.  The audit examined 10 of the FBI's 56 field offices, which are designed to respond to cyberthreats.

Of the 36 agents examined, 23 proved basically competent, but 13 "lacked the networking and counterintelligence expertise to investigate national security intrusion cases."

The report complains that some of that incompetence isn't even the agents’ fault -- it’s the fault of the FBI leadership.  Currently the FBI rotates its field agents every three years between offices.  As a result, many agents find themselves with essentially zero expertise at their new, dramatically different cybersecurity position.

The report also complains that the FBI is doing a poor job sharing information with other intelligence agencies.  And it says that many of the field offices examined were "inadequate" in both an analytical and a forensic cybersecurity capacity.

Interestingly, the FBI convinced the DOJ to redact the number of agents that had completed its Cyber Development Plan course program.  The CDP consists of 12 core security sessions, similar to college courses.  The sessions are designed to strengthen agents' background in cybersecurity.  The program was first introduced in 2007.

Since 2009 the FBI has been trying to hire 3,000 new agents, with a heavy emphasis on individuals with IT experience.  The FBI was embarrassed in 2009 by its chief's admission that he almost responded to a phishing scam.

The FBI has had some high profile successes of late -- such as taking down the CoreFlood botnet-- but it also has struggled in dealing with more organized foreign cyberaggression.  The FBI and fellow agencies have also struggled in dealing with homeland cybercriminals, such as child predators.  They have raided several citizens’ homes and reportedly brutalized them, only to find that it had misidentified the suspect due to a lack of investigation.  



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Doh! They think US govt agency is "incompetent"??
By Pirks on 4/28/2011 1:40:44 PM , Rating: -1
They'd rather check up on Canadian health care system where you wait in a waiting list for a visit to a surgeon for TWO AND A HALF YEARS. Just a consultation, nothing more, not an operation or anything serious. TWO. AND. A. HALF. YEARS. No, this NOT a joke. This is what my wife is going through now in Ontario.

US govt is EXTREMELY competent compared to their Canadian colleagues. Trust me on that guys, I have similar horrible experiences with multi year waiting lists in BC and AB as well.

Americans should be proud of their country, I envy them.




By JakLee on 4/28/2011 2:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
Dear Canada -
I want to appologize. You see for years, my motto has been "Blame Canada". There was a catchy theme song, some funny cartoon children, a poster, a tshirt, a stipper with a goat tattoo.... but I digress. I see the error now. Instead of "Blame Canada" it should be "Blame Pirks". You have my appology and my sympathy

(I accidentally voted up his comment, I needed to undo that)


By Pirks on 4/28/2011 4:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Instead of "Blame Canada" it should be "Blame Pirks"
Are you going to blame ME for the faults of our molasses slow health care system that keeps people in waiting lists for years? Are you really THAT dumb?


By Taft12 on 4/28/2011 2:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
How long is the wait if you have no insurance or means to pay for an operaion?


By Bloomie on 4/28/2011 3:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you have no money and are under 65, you qualify for Medicaid and your wait won't be any longer than it would be with private insurance.

If you're over 65 you qualify for Medicare and your wait won't be any longer than it would be with private insurance.

Educate yourself, or at least wait until you've become independant from your parents and have racked up experience in the real world.


RE: Doh! They think US govt agency is "incompetent"??
By Kurz on 4/29/2011 9:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
The US health care problem stems from.
Employer Healthcare benefits (Just pay us more, let us choose our own insurance).
Medicare and Medicaid which drive up costs by inflating the costs since they are constantly in the red and government needs to keep making more loans to keep the benefit.
Inability to buy insurance across state lines.

By giving us more choice the health insurance companies will then create downward pressure to the health care industry to stop charging absurd prices for everything.

Its always about the most value for the cheapest price that leads to the most success.


By Raiders12 on 4/29/2011 9:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
Actually what drives up costs is our horrendous eating habits and lack of exercise for being "too busy" as a nation. The rule of 20% consume 80% of the resources (medical care) is very true. 65% of our nation is obese, 35% are pre-diabetic, and heart disease/stroke is the leading cause of death. These causes stem from long term diabetes, which is also one of the only curable diseases, as its a lifestyle disease.

So as we continue to drink Coke along side a Big Mac or Whopper, medical costs naturally go up because more and more people are having insulin defeciencies, heart and blood problems, and passing it onto the healthy people through jacked up premiums.

Its pretty much lazy-obesity socialism at its finest.


By morphologia on 4/28/2011 3:13:47 PM , Rating: 1
A "things could be worse" argument really doesn't change the fact that they still aren't good enough to make things work properly.

And defending incompetence fuels it and makes it more prevalent, so thanks SO MUCH for your valuable contribution. :p


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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