FBI in the malware business ?
It seems that FBI is officially looking for malware and other types of viruses. The government’s contracting database showed that this “combined solicitation/synopsis for malware” is wanted by the federal detectives to help crack criminal cases.
The question that we might ask ourselves is that why FBI needs such malware assistance by a private contractor to help in catching petty criminals. The specific department of the FBI which is in need of such services is the FBI IFBI, an analysis unit of the operational technology division or in simple English the department that provides tech support and uses innovative and custom developed analytical methods to analyze digital evidence especially in crime scenes and scenarios. But what do viruses and malware help in understanding such scenarios? Their understanding and application may help FBI in the advanced criminal takedowns. The request for bids states that “The collection of malware from multiple industries, research organizations and law enforcement agencies is critical to the success of the IAU’s mission to obtain global awareness of malware threat.
The collection of this malware allows the IAU to provide actionable intelligence to the investigator in both criminal and intelligence matters. The intent of the organization remains a mystery on how it wants to accomplish all that because by the advert, it isn’t clear as to whether the organization wants the malware to eavesdrop on suspects or simply make a study of the malware available and put in its use by tracing the proprietor back. What adds to even more confusion is the fact that there are existing free ways to do that or obtain these hacking tools instead of soliciting on the governmental contract database.
Since 1996, the bureau has used program called Infragard which allows sharing information with the local experts to assist them in cyber investigations. There they shared information and expertise regarding cyber intrusions and trends to their “partners” and helped them secure their valuable networks and computers. The partners returned the favor and educated them their own experience regarding cybercrimes as well. But the problem is that these companies have been the victims of Cyber Attacks themselves due to the linkage with the bureau and thus the need for the advert was emerged. Some even wrote a letter to the congress suggesting that certain malware sharing is illegal and suggesting that appropriate legislation be passed to address their concerns.