US Department of Justice announced strategic changes to its National Security Division (NSD) Unit in an effort to counter rising cyber security threats in United States. According to a statement on DOJ’s website, the restructuring will empower US prosecutors to deal will “threat of state-sponsored economic espionage and proliferation, including through cyberspace.”
The shakeup, led by John P. Carlin, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, involved appointment of new leaders to head NSD ,creation of a new Deputy Assistant Attorney General Position and re-designation of the Anti-Terrorism and Advisory Council (ATAC) to reflect its widened role in tackling national security threats.
“We have assembled a talented, dedicated and experienced team of seasoned professionals to launch this new phase for the National Security Division. These changes will help us continue confronting today’s threats while readying the NSD workforce to engage what we see as the key emerging threats to our national security.”
“The new NSD leadership team members include Mary B. McCord to serve as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Anita M. Singh as Chief of Staff and Counselor; and Luke Dembosky as the newest Deputy Assistant Attorney General,” stated official DOJ website.
Experts have indicated the appointed Luke Dembosky, one of the most experienced cybercrime prosecutors, will shore up things at the agency. “This is not just a reshuffling of the deck,” said former national security cybercrime prosecutor Nicholas Oldham. Dembosky will oversee the National Security Cyber Specialists (NSCS), a Network consisting of prosecutors who focus on cyber threats and national security.
Cyber-attacks such the JPMorgan and the Target, have made US realized that cybercrime is an evolving crime that is more sophisticated than old-time terrorism. The attack on JPMorgan affected over two-thirds of America households, while billions were lost during the Target attack in Russia.
“The threat landscape we face is ever-changing and evolving, and while our top priority will always be combatting terrorism, we must also sharpen our focus and increase our attention on the emerging threats of economic espionage and proliferation,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.
More importantly was the renaming of the counter espionage-section to reflect its expanding role in handling violation of export laws. Such laws prohibit the exportation of products and Machinery that could be used in weapon or defense programs in countries sanctioned by United States.
The counter espionage section was renamed to Counter Intelligence and Export Controls Section in what Carlin said will enable the unit to develop the “capability and bandwidth” to deal with emerging threats present by the evolving crime landscape.
In May the Justice department, charged five Chinese military officers with a slew of computer frauds including breaking into a US companies, stealing trade secrets and intellectual property. Carlin says the revamped agency will be more aggressive in fighting state backed cybercriminals. “I think you will more regularly see the use of the criminal justice system … We are now actively investigating a variety of nation-state cases. Not all, but some, will result in prosecutions,” he said.