F.B.I. plans to create cyber crimes task force in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

F.B.I. plans to create cyber crimes task force in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Your entire identity name, address, social security number were stolen at the click of a mouse.

Right now hackers are ahead of the feds.

Just recently, health insurance provider Anthem, became the latest victim on of a cyber attack. The company announced that as many as 80 million customers had personal account information compromised.

Authorities are working to fix the problem. The F.B.I. has plans to set up a cyber crimes task force in Louisville. 

"I really want to do cyber security and artificial intelligence, and I was hoping to combine the two," said Benjamin Watkins, a student at University of Louisville.

Some of the students in U of L's computer science program are self-professed geeks. They could end up being called something else...perhaps special agent.

There's a changing in the F.B.I. for sure," said Michael Russo Jr., a Supervisory Special Agent with the F.B.I.

U.S. security officials have named cyber security the next great threat facing the United States of America.

"We are hiring special agents, computer scientists and I.T. forensic examiners," Russo said.

As part of the changing face of the F.B.I., the bureau is recruiting young, tech savvy minds.

The internet is where we live now. It's where we do our banking, our shopping, our socialization. We see that it's going to continue to increase whether from foreign or criminal enterprises, Russo explained.

One federal agent says, "The bad guys are always ahead of us."

The cyber security fight presents a great challenge, because as the investigators identify a scheme, it changes.

"I've actually been on a little kick viewing the last few hacker attacks that we've had and how we've responded to them and what's made those attacks successful, whether it's been like a zero day attack or failure to patch or DDOS attack," Watkins said.

But the government struggles to get students with minds like Watkins to come aboard because of financial reasons. The earning potential is much more lucrative in the private sector.

Last year, the F.B.I. took in more than 20,000 applications for its traditional investigator positions. By comparison, applications were far more less for a recently filled F.B.I. tech job.

"We recently hired an I.T. professional in Louisville, and we had seven applications to look at," said Bridget Lampton, an F.B.I. Administrative Officer.

The bureau is becoming more aggressive in its search for candidates by bolstering internships and tapping college job fairs. Officials are even reaching out to kids in high school to steer them towards computer science.
 
"They are getting younger, but that's the workforce of the future and they'll be ready for the threat," Russo said. 

Students understand the language and how it's applicable to their world and relatable to them."Whether it's a PlayStation or X-Box network going down or Apple losing so many images; (when it comes to) cyber attacks, it is kind of like a war, a fight between your skills and someone else's," Watkins said.

The threats may be changing, but the mission remains the same and that's to protect and serve.
 
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