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Graves Questions FBI Director Wray on Cyber Threats

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ACDC Explainer

Washington, April 4, 2019 -

In today’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) brought up the importance of cyber defense and asked about current efforts in the private sector to protect against cyber criminals and hackers.

Rep. Graves asked Director Wray to highlight and explain ways the private sector is involved with the FBI when investigating and identifying cyber threats.

Rep. Graves: “You acknowledge that the FBI has limited resources to focus primarily on the high-level intrusions and state-sponsored attacks. For the private sector that doesn’t meet that threshold, what tools, what resources do they have to help stop and prevent attacks, or address attacks? What do you recommend there?”   

Director Wray: “I think you’ve picked up on a very important point…there is a swath of cyber-enabled criminal activity that is affecting businesses that is essentially below the level of the most sophisticated that the Feds typically take on, but above the level that currently is in the range of most state and local law enforcement.”   

In the 115th Congress, Rep. Graves introduced the bipartisan Active Cyber Defense Act (ACDC), which makes changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to allow the use of limited defensive measures that exceed the boundaries of one’s network to identify and stop attackers.

Once a cybercriminal is identified, the victim can share that information with law enforcement or try to disrupt an ongoing attack.

“I do think that over the next 10 years, the partnership that’s going to have to exist between law enforcement, the intelligence community and the private sector in the cyber arena in particular, is going to be a significant paradigm shift, because otherwise we won’t be able to stay ahead of the threat,” said Director Wray.

You can watch the full exchange here.

You can read more about ACDC here.

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