IG Report Says Some FBI Agents Lack Skills to Probe Computer Intrusions

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department Inspector General report issued Wednesday says a third of the agents it interviewed, who probe national security-related computer intrusions, lacked certain skills to competently do their jobs.

Specifically, the  report said of the of 36 agents interviewed at 10 field offices, 13 “lacked the networking and counterintelligence expertise to investigate national security intrusion cases.”

“One agent told us that he was assigned his first counterterrorism intrusion case but he did not know how to investigate a national security intrusion case,” according to the report.

The report also said the FBI’s inter-agency cyber security task force sometimes failed to share essential info with its task force members.

Jenny Shearer, an FBI spokeswoman, told Bloomberg news that the report was a snapshot of the FBI’s cyber division taken from a few field offices.

She said Congress has limited appropriations, but the FBI spends more in this area than appropriated, she told Bloomberg.

“We’re working hard on it,” she said.

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