Cyber crime hearing scheduled for June 29

Published 4:47 pm Monday, June 20, 2011

By EMILY BECKETT / Staff Writer

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on cyber crime at the National Computer Forensics Institute in Hoover on June 29.

U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., is chairman of the committee and said the committee will meet at the hearing to address the dangers posed by cyber attacks to the economy and financial system.

Bachus said a major goal is to examine the threat hackers pose to individuals, businesses, financial institutions and government agencies, the methods hackers employ and ways law enforcement has been able to foil hackers and solve cyber crimes.

“In a relatively short time, the Internet has become an essential part of our daily lives and our economy,” Bachus said. “But any good tool can be put to both good and bad uses, and so it is imperative for us to continually confront the threat posed by cyber criminals – the homegrown ones and those who threaten us from abroad – who try to discover and exploit weaknesses in our security.”

According to Bachus, the committee will hear from local, state and federal law enforcement officials at the hearing, such as Investigator Clay Hammac of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

A series of high-profile cyber attacks have occurred recently, Bachus said, including one on the CIA’s website.

“That should serve as a major wake-up call for our country,” Bachus said. “Our committee’s hearing could not come at a more appropriate time as the frequency of these attacks appears to be growing.”

The NCFI is an essential part of the United States’ defense against cyber criminals, Bachus said. The U.S. Secret Service funds day-to-day training at NCFI for law enforcement personnel from across the country.

“The NCFI has had many successes in investigating all forms of cybercrime, from financial and tax fraud to child pornography,” Bachus said. “Its impact has gone far beyond its headquarters here in Alabama.”