NC launches cyber security unit

Posted March 22, 2018 12:10 p.m. EDT

Cyber security, hacking

— North Carolina has launched a unit in the State Bureau of Investigation to combat cyber attacks.

"This new unit is critical due to the growing number of threats launched against our cyber infrastructure in recent years, Secretary of Public Safety Erik Hooks said in a statement.

Thomas McGrath, who worked with the FBI National Computer Crime Squad in Washington, D.C., and has worked for the FBI in Charlotte and Raleigh, will head the unit. Officials said McGrath's team will work with federal, state and local partners, including the North Carolina National Guard, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the SBI and the U.S. Secret Service, to thwart cyberattacks.

"The state continues to face a growing threat from cyberattacks," state Department of Information Technology Secretary Eric Boyette said in a statement, citing ransomware attacks in Mecklenburg County and Davidson County in recent months.

"This effort will help us to better guard against cyber threats and to increase information sharing of threat vectors and cyber actor actions across multiple state entities and boundaries," Boyette said. "It will also increase the speed of information sharing and help place needed focus on local government and citizen outreach. With the increased coordination and sharing of information will come an increase in the speed with which we can detect, identify and recover from cyber incidents."