DHS plans computer forensic institute

March 12, 2007 at 2:37 PM
WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has unveiled plans for a National Computer Forensic Institute to assist in digital evidence analysis.

The institute, to be located in Hoover, Ala., will serve as a national cyber-crimes training facility for state and local police officers, as well as prosecutors and judges. The U.S. Secret Service will develop the institute, and the National Cyber Security Division of Homeland Security will provide some funding, according to a statement Friday from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

"The same technologies that are a part of every-day life in the twenty-first century are routinely used by criminal groups for their nefarious activities," said Chertoff. "This institute will turn the tables on these criminal groups and equip law enforcement with sophisticated skills to use the same technologies in combating criminal activity."

Training will be based on the current U.S. Secret Service curriculum and include basic electronic crimes investigation, network intrusion investigation, and computer forensics. The training will cater to law enforcement personnel, who must routinely process digital evidence but who may not yet be fully prepared for this task.

"Today's high tech environment presents new challenges to law enforcement as cyber-criminals exploit computers and the Internet to threaten our banking, financial and critical infrastructures," said Secret Service Deputy Director Brian Nagel.

In addition to training in cyber-investigative techniques, Nagel said that federal, state and local officers neededmtyo share their expertise more effectively to meet the technology challenges that face law enforcement.

The facility is slated to open in January 2008.

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