How the Federal Government Defends Against Cybercriminals
- Security breaches on the job: The majority of job-related breaches occur when cyber criminals exploit employees through social engineering and scams.
- Spear phishing: Cyber criminals target employees through emails that appear to be from colleagues within their own organizations, allowing cyber criminals to steal personal information.
- Social media fraud: With more than one billion users on Facebook alone, cyber criminals are increasingly using social media to engage in identity theft and entice individuals to download malicious code or reveal passwords.
In an effort to address the evolving threats and increased risks of cybercrimes, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works directly with public and private partners to enhance cyber security. Through the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center as well as the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, DHS works to promote cyber security awareness and digital literacy amongst all Internet users.
DHS also collaborates with financial and other critical infrastructure sectors to improve network security. The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have special divisions dedicated to fighting cybercrime.
The Secret Service maintains Electronic Crimes Task Forces, which focus on identifying and locating international criminals connected to cyber intrusions, bank fraud, data breaches and other computer-related crimes. The agency’s Cyber Intelligence Section has directly contributed to the arrest of criminals responsible for the theft of hundreds of millions of credit card numbers and the loss of approximately $600 million. The Secret Service also runs the National Computer Forensic Institute, which provides law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges with cyber training and information to combat cybercrime.
ICE’s Cyber Crimes Center (C3) works to prevent cybercrime and solve cyber incidents by identifying sources for fraudulent identity and immigration documents on the Internet. C3's Child Exploitation Section investigates large-scale producers and distributors of child pornography, as well as individuals who travel abroad for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors.
Cyber security is a shared responsibility, and each of us has a role to play in making it safer, more secure and resilient. For more information about what DHS is doing to fight cybercrime, visit dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and dhs.gov/cybersecurity.