By now, most of us have probably heard about the recent cyber-security scare that forced the resignation of the US President Donald Trump and left his staff in a panic.
But did you know that the FBI and DHS also know how to hack your own computers?
The agency has been cracking down on the threat, and it’s doing so by making a number of its officers into cyber-terrorists.
The FBI’s top cyber-cracker is a former federal employee.
And the DHS cyber-warriors are being trained in computer hacking, according a new report by US news outlet, The New York Times.
It’s part of a nationwide program that was revealed in April.
In this image taken from a video, an FBI agent is shown on the roof of a building at the FBI’s Washington field office, in Washington, DC, May 15, 2021.
The FBI has released an internal report which reveals the bureau’s top hacking experts are not necessarily law-abiding citizens, according the report.
“We’re not going to prosecute these people,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at the time.
A recent report by the Congressional Research Service says the FBI has used hacking tools on over 100,000 people.
The report says that “hacking tools are being used in the vast majority of investigations, investigations involving criminal suspects, and cybercriminal cases, with most of those using cybercriminal tools being used by law enforcement.”
The report says the tool’s ability to be used for both law enforcement and terrorism investigations “may pose significant security risks” and that the tools were being used “for purposes of conducting criminal investigations and terrorism-related investigations”.
And that’s where the DHS comes in.
In this June 8, 2017, file photo, FBI Director James Comey speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.
The DHS is the agency responsible for overseeing the federal government’s cyber defences.
The report by The New Times said the DHS “was responsible for the most recent [coup] attempt” against President Donald Trumps political opponents in January.
The former director, James Comey, was the lead investigator in the case.
The agency was investigating a string of alleged cyber attacks on Democratic political targets, including the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
DHS agents also reportedly used malware that was found to have been created by the US military, which had been developed by the company Booz Allen Hamilton.
On Monday, a court in Washington granted a request from the FBI to delay the execution of the indictment in the DNC case pending the outcome of a federal appeals court ruling.
The Justice Department had asked the appeals court to keep the indictment from being sent to a judge for sentencing.
A court order that would have allowed the DOJ to send the case to a federal judge was also granted.
Comey told Congress on Tuesday that the “cyberwarriors” were being trained for a variety of roles, including cybercriminal, in the US Department of Homeland Security, but the agency had not yet provided a specific number of them.
He told Congress that he believed the DHS was preparing to train agents for the roles of cybercriminal and cyberterrorism agents.
“We are training them to be cybercriminals and cyberterrorists,” he said.
“It is not just about the crime of cyber, it is about the cyber, about how the cybersecurity is applied.”
“They’re training them on how to use malware, how to get access to networks, how they can use that access to hack people,” he added.