“We will increasingly put emphasis on addressing cyber threats in all of their variations,“ FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said today at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on extending his term, Bloomberg reported.
The bureau is facing an unprecedented threat environment, Mueller said in his testimony, and has seen an “extraordinary” number of national security and criminal threats from terrorism, espionage, cyber attacks and conventional crimes.
“These threats have ranged from attempts by al-Qaida and its affiliates to place bombs on airplanes bound for the United States to lone actors seeking to detonate IEDs in public squares and subways intent on mass murder,” Mueller said.
The threats also entail those conducted with the help of the Internet, Mueller said. Citing last year’s hacks on Google, Mueller said those incidents highlight the tenacious danger from a complex cyber attack that threatens to debilitate the integrity of the Internet and to victimize those who depend on it.
Mueller’s term as FBI director is due to expire later this summer, and in his testimony he said President Barack Obama had asked whether he was willing to serve an additional two years, something Mueller affirmed.
“If my term is extended, I look forward to working with the committee and the men and women of the FBI to continue the bureau’s transformation in the years to come,” he said.