Local
4:36 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

New FBI director calls cyberspace the new battleground

The new director of the FBI says cybercrime is the issue of the day, in the wake of tens of millions of people having their financial information stolen while making credit card purchases.

During a visit to the bureau offices in downtown Buffalo Tuesday, James Comey says the new federal budget is allowing his agency to hire the technology experts needed to combat cybercrime and cyberterrorism.

New FBI Director James Comey
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Speaking to former Director Robert Mueller before taking office, Comey says he was warned.

"Bob Mueller said, before he left, that he thought cyber would come to dominate the next FBI director's tenure the way terrorism did his, and I can already see that that's true," Comey said

Comey says the vulnerability reflects the way people and government have turned their lives and their data over to cyberspace.

"We've connected our entire lives to the Internet. The Internet is where our children are, it's where our money is, it's where our social lives are, it's where our healthcare is, it's where our government secrets are [and] it's where our critical infrastructure is," Comey said.

Comey was nominated by President Obama in June 2013. He was confirmed by the Senate the following month and was sworn in last September.

The new director admits the bureau has had problems in the computer field in the past, but he says the it is catching up and recognizes how important the issue is.

He says part of the problem is that national borders don't apply and agencies like his must work with police from all over to make progress against cybercrime and cyberterrorism.