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FBI Plans Cybercrime Crackdown, Soon

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 11:18am
Jim Finkle and Joseph Menn, Reuters

The FBI is getting more aggressive in pursuing cyber criminals and expects to announce searches, indictments and multiple arrests over the next several weeks, the agency's official in charge of combating cyber crime says.

"There is a philosophy change. If you are going to attack Americans, we are going to hold you accountable," the FBI's Robert Anderson told the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit in Washington. "If we can reach out and touch you, we are going to reach out and touch you."

Anderson said the FBI would show "a much more offensive side" to its cyber program, which he took over in March.  He cited the previously unreported indictment of Dimitry Belorrossov as an example of a recent success in the agency's battle against cyber crime.  The Russian national was arrested at an airport in Spain last year and lost an extradition battle after being accused of running a botnet that attacked some 7,000 Americans, a case that Anderson said was relatively small compared to some that are in the FBI's pipeline.

Still, the arrest was one of a few that prompted Russia to warn its citizens to be careful traveling to countries having extradition treaties with the United States.