Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Wednesday announced the formation of a new cybercrime Lab located in the Attorney General’s office to assist law enforcement officials in the state with cyber-related investigations.
“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,” said Marshall.
“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. 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.”
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office was joined by U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, Louis Franklin, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, officials with the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Alabama Fusion Center, and the Alabama Office of Prosecution Services in announcing the new lab.
The AG’s office has also joined the Alabama Focus Group on Skimming in launching a new web link for owners of victimized payment card systems and law enforcement for the reporting of suspected debit/credit card skimming devices, the collected information will then be used to investigate and prosecute criminals involved in illegal skimming operations within state.
“Cybercrime is ever increasing and touches most people in some form,” added Franklin. “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.”
According to the AG’s office, 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.
These agents have also helped businesses and local governments recover nearly $1 million potentially lost in cyber theft cases. The new Cybercrime Lab will expand the ability of the Attorney General’s Office to conduct such investigative work.