Mueller: Ter­ror­ists have eye on cy­ber­at­tacks in U.S.

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

FBI Di­rec­tor Robert S. Mueller said Wed­nes­day that ter­ror­ists may seek to train their own re­cruits or hire out­siders with an eye to­ward pur­su­ing cy­ber­at­tacks on the United States.

“Ter­ror­ists have not used the In­ter­net to launch a full-scale cy­ber­at­tack, but we can­not un­der­es­ti­mate their in­tent,” Mr. Mueller said in pre­pared tes­ti­mony to a House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tee. He said ter­ror­ists have shown in­ter­est in de­vel­op­ing hack­ing skills and that the evolv­ing na­ture of the prob­lem makes the FBI’S coun­tert­er­ror­ism mis­sion more dif­fi­cult.

Un­der ques­tion­ing by Re­pub­li­can Rep. Frank R. Wolf of Virginia, Mr. Mueller said he would sup­port in­creas­ing the crim­i­nal penal­ties for com­puter hack­ing in the con­text of eco­nomic es­pi­onage as the U.S. seeks to pro­tect sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion.

“Our com­pa­nies are tar­geted for in­sider in­for­ma­tion, and our uni­ver­si­ties and na­tional lab­o­ra­to­ries are tar­geted for their re­search and de­vel­op­ment,” the FBI di­rec­tor told the con­gres­sional panel.

This week, a group of ex­pert hack­ers who at­tacked gov­ern­ments and cor­po­ra­tions around

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