Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall was joined Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin and officials with the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Alabama Fusion Center and the Alabama Office of Prosecution Services in announcing the establishment of a Cybercrime Lab in the Attorney General’s Office to assist all levels of law enforcement in the state with cyber-related investigations.
“Today, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, with the help of our federal, state and local partners, officially launch the Cybercrime Lab,” said Attorney General Marshall. “One of my priorities as attorney general is to expand the capability of this office to combat the growing threat of cybercrime. For law enforcement, investigating cybercrime and accessing digital evidence present real challenges. But these hurdles can be overcome when agencies work together to combine expertise and training."
Marhsall said the Cybercrime Lab provides cutting edge tools to enable our investigators to more effectively conduct online investigations of criminal activity, ranging from child sexual exploitation and human trafficking to network intrusions and data breaches.
He said, "Equally important, the Cybercrime Lab will serve as a resource for federal, state and local law enforcement in Alabama seeking assistance in accessing criminal evidence stored on digital devices."
HIs office has also launched a new web link for Alabama law enforcement and operators of victimized payment card systems to report suspected debit/credit card skimming devices.
This joint effort conducted by the Alabama Focus Group on Skimming – comprised of the U.S. Secret Service, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama Fusion Center, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Alabama Petroleum Equipment Contractors Association, the Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office – will collect information to be used to investigate and prosecute persons involved in illegal skimming operations in the state.
“I would like to recognize and thank our federal law enforcement partners who donated many of the high-tech tools in our Cybercrime Lab and provided expert training to our cyber agents, especially the National Computer Forensics Institute which is proudly located in the State of Alabama,” added Attorney General Marshall. “Thanks to their support we will be able to better protect Alabamians.”
“Cybercrime is ever increasing and touches most people in some form,” stated Louis V. Franklin Sr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. “As the level of cybercrime becomes more sophisticated, it is important that our investigative techniques are expansive enough to combat these criminals. This cybercrime lab will give us extra tools in our investigative toolbox to identify and prosecute those cyber offenders.”
“The creation of this new Cybercrime Lab at the Attorney General’s Office is great news for the people of Alabama and we are all appreciative of the Attorney General and his commitment to this effort,” said Barry Matson, Executive Director, Office of Prosecution Services. “This new Cybercrime Lab will benefit victims of crime and law enforcement all across Alabama. Digital evidence is in nearly every criminal investigation and access to skilled digital forensic examinations is imperative. This new Cybercrime Lab will make Alabama a safer place to live and do business.”
Over the last year cyber agents with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office have already assisted more than 30 agencies in cyber investigations, including unlocking cell phone evidence in homicides, tracking down credit/debit card skimmers, and unmasking criminals behind identity theft cases. What’s more, agents have also helped businesses and local governments recover nearly $1 million potentially lost in cyber theft cases, according to the announcement..
The new Cybercrime Lab will expand the ability of the Attorney General’s Office to conduct such investigative work.
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