Seven local police departments from Fairfield County are joining forces with federal, state and local law enforcement officials to investigate complex crimes in cyberspace.
U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre Daly announced the formation Tuesday of the Connecticut Cyber Task Force.
“The broad reach of cyber criminals can be felt almost every day in Connecticut,” said Daly. “Day after day, we learn of companies, municipalities, educational institutions, hospitals, public utilities, nonprofits and citizens being targeted by bad actors."
The task force, based at the FBI in New Haven, includes representatives from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Connecticut State Police.
It also includes 11 police departments from across the state: the Bridgeport, Bristol, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hartford, New Canaan, New London, Norwalk, Stamford, Torrington and Westport Police Departments.
"These cyber criminals seek to disrupt our work, steal our intellectual property, compromise the personal or financial information of employees, customers and citizens through dedicated denial of service (DDOS) attacks, spear phishing campaigns, ransomware and malware attacks and other computer hacks or cyber intrusions,” said Daly.
The task force will address cyber threats such as "the use of the Dark Markets, crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, and encrypted routing services, including TOR, to hide the advertising, sale and distribution of controlled substances and the sale of stolen personal identification, user credentials and financial information," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia M. Ferrick. "It is our hope that this task force will make a significant impact and serve to better protect the citizens of Connecticut from the ever-changing criminal threats emanating from the internet.”
Initially, the Task Force will prioritize cybercrime investigations in two areas. First, the Task Force will work to identify and disrupt criminal organizations that use computer intrusions to defraud companies of their money and information.
Second, the Task Force will target criminal activity on the dark web, notably the illicit acquisition and distribution of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs that are the cause of tens of thousands of overdose deaths annually.
“The DEA continues to be proactive in attacking criminal organizations that use the Internet to conduct their illicit trade,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson. “Many times these organizations are utilizing the Dark Web to procure fentanyl directly from China. Connecticut has been experiencing a deadly opioid epidemic and the majority of these deaths can be attributed to a combination of fentanyl and heroin. The creation of this Task Force will give us additional resources to target and attack those individuals who are responsible for bringing this deadly poison into the United States and onto the streets of Connecticut.”
To contact the Connecticut Cyber Task Force, call the FBI in New Haven at 203-777-6311.
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