Secret Service Agent: Hackers Are Unpatriotic

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A special agent with the Secret Service's electronic-crimes branch said hackers are unpatriotic.

In a keynote here Tuesday at the Computer Security Institute's NetSec conference, John Frazzini said the lines between criminal acts and acts of war are increasingly blurring since the September terrorist attacks.

"Hackers who brag that they can break into computer systems are unpatriotic," he said. "If you're a U.S. citizen breaking into computer networks, it's not only criminal but unpatriotic."

Frazzini, who works in the Secret Service's electronic crimes branch in Washington, said the U.S. Patriot Act--passed after the attacks--mandated the creation of a nationwide network of Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Forces.

The task forces, which have been established in nine major cities across the nation, investigate electronic crimes including potential terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure and financial payment systems, he said.

Law enforcement needs help from the corporate sector, information-security professional and academia to fight terrorism, Frazzini said.

"We should all be working together to address this problem," he said. "Law enforcement can't go it alone. It will take a coordinated effort."

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