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A key hindrance for law enforcement’s fight against cybercrime is cybercriminals’ ability to move stealthily across the internet without detection. However, thorough the Pentagon’s “Enhanced Attribution Program,” the government hopes to be able to characterize a particular hacker and “share the attacker’s modus operandi with prospective victims and predict where he or she will strike next.” Currently, forensics investigators have trouble keeping track of hackers because they can wipe-out or destroy their own footprints, but with this new program, investigators will be able to reference hackers’ IT resources through their “vantage points” such as the laptop they used to develop specific malware, their phones and other devices connected to the “Internet of Things.” By being proactive, instead of trying to solve a crime after it has already happened, this program will “not only look at the bullets but also look at the weapon,” said Angelos Keromytis, the program lead at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The gun in the metaphor is a reference to hackers’ IT resources which will ideally stop the crime before it has been committed. The Pentagon expects to have this program up and running by 2018.

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