The FBI has trouble investigating cyber attacks involving national security because agents lack the required technical expertise or are often transferred or diverted to other cases, according to a government report released today.
Some cyber agents complained they did not have the proper experience to investigate cases dealing with national security intrusion cases, were assigned to other matters or were rotated between offices too often, according to a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general cited by Reuters.
The report also found that field agents also have inadequate tactical analytical support for those cases, which hinders their ability to “connect the dots in an investigation” and to determine the culprits behind the intrusions.
Thirty-six cyber agents were interviewed for the inspector general’s report to see if they had the technical skills for national security cases. The report found that 64 percent possessed the required skills, while five field agents said they were neither able nor qualified to effectively investigate national security intrusions.
The FBI said it was looking into the concerns about transfers and that the cyber division has also begun realigning its career path program to ensure “field offices had qualified agents to investigate national security intrusion matters,” the report said.