FBI turns to hackers in war on cybercrime

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

cyber police
Law enforcement and governments will wage many of their battles online, as cyber warfare and high-tech robotics become increasingly common.

Cybercrime is on the rise, as hackers cause billions of dollars in damage by stealing private information from computer systems. A recent study of 500 American executives of government agencies, businesses, and law enforcement services found that cyber criminals are winning the war despite major efforts in developing security technologies.

Despite the uphill battle, the FBI recently cooperated with foreign police forces to make over 100 international arrests of hackers. The USA’s Department of Justice also indicted (formally accused) five Chinese military officers of stealing trade secrets from businesses, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that future conflicts between nations will be fought as often online as in the real world.

When hackers break into computer systems as activists (social change protesters), they’re known as “hacktivists”, like the infamous group Anonymous that attacks governments and corporations to discourage them from mistreating people. This week, the FBI released a major Anonymous leader named Hector Xavier “Sabu” Monsegur, after he spent years helping them cripple his former organization with insider information in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. Considering that the government estimates Sabu participated in over 250 hacker attacks that caused up to $50 million in damages, he must have provided some very critical intelligence to get out of jail in just a few years!

Featured image courtesy of Brian Klug on Flickr. Image of cyber cop courtesy of Surian Soosay on Flickr.