Justice revs up cybercrimefighting efforts

Justice revs up cybercrimefighting efforts

The Justice Department by April will beef up its focus on cybercrime deterrence by staffing what will become its largest computer crimefighting unit.

Jack Hanly, supervisor of the cybercrime team for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, said his group would assign seven assistant U.S. attorneys, five from Alexandria and one each from Richmond and Norfolk, to form a team.

The department last month announced plans to expand its prosecutorial cybercrime efforts, beginning with a major East Coast team out of the Alexandria office. Previously, the Virginia team had been a one-man operation run by Hanly. He said he expects to add the first of the new attorneys by month's end, and the remainder will come on board in March.

'We'll be focusing on computer intrusions in the federal and private sector,' Hanly said. The prosecution team would handle private-sector cases in which losses exceeded $5,000. 'We'll be focusing on thefts of confidential information through computer networks from high-tech companies, and on Internet fraud scams.'

The prosecution team also will tackle identity theft and credit card fraud cases involving the Internet. Hanly said other federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Customs Bureau and Secret Service, planned to increase their investigative resources in Northern Virginia, too.

Hanly said Northern Virginia is an important area for cybercrime enforcement because so much Internet traffic passes through the area and many high-tech companies are headquartered there.

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