Monday, September 08, 2008

FBI Cyber Agent Shawn Henry Earns Promotion

Today the FBI announced that Shawn Henry has been Named Assistant Director of the FBI Cyber Division. I last saw Mr. Henry last month in the Hoover Building while I was representing the Birmingham InfraGard chapter at an InfraGard program briefing by the Public Private Alliance Unit, which is part of the FBI's Cyber Division. Henry briefly greeted our attendees, around a dozen civilian InfraGard members and their FBI counterparts from their respective cities, but modestly passed on an opportunity to speak at length. Just a brief statement of support for our purpose. Be assured though, his deference in that situation shouldn't be confused for lack of engagement on cyber matters.

(Image from KTUU TV)

Whether he's explaining Wireless Hacking risks to the Wall Street Journal or talking to WIRED Magazine about Botnets, Henry has been the man the Bureau turns to to explain technical cyber issues to the media and the public. When he talks technology, he isn't parroting facts printed by others for him to read. He understands this stuff.

Henry's former boss, Assistant Director James Finch had a long career prior to his appointment, most recently in Wisconsin, but was only at Headquarters a short time before he received his next assignment, as Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Oklahoma City Field Office.

Henry's own career has also been impressive, working in Public Corruption before serving as the Chief of the Computer Investigations Unit at the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), perhaps the finest Computer unit in any law enforcement agency in the world at that time, and also a foreshadowing of things to come for Henry. The National Infrastructure Protection Center was directed by Ron Dick, now the President of the civilian side of InfraGard, the InfraGard National Members Alliance. The NIPC's Interagency Coordination Cell helped to resolve conflicts between as many as 15 Federal agencies represented at NIPC, as Ron Dick explained to Congress two weeks after 9/11. In Dick's briefing he shared the basic tenets used at the NIPC, derived from Clinton's "Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection" (PCCIP):

First, that the government can only respond effectively to information technology threats by focusing on protecting systems against attack while simultaneously identifying and responding to those who nonetheless would attempt or succeed in launching those attacks. And second, that the government can only help protect this nation's most critical infrastructures by building and promoting a coalition of trust, one . . . amongst all government agencies, two . . . between the government and the private sector, three . . . amongst the different business interests within the private sector itself, and four . . . in concert with the greater international community

That mind-set is what attracted me to InfraGard in 2001, and seems to be something Henry kept in mind as he progressed through the rungs of leadership at the Bureau, leaving the NIPC to serve as the Supervisory Special Agent over the Baltimore Computer Crimes Squad in 2001, serving at Headquarters in the Inspection Division, and being promoted "back to the field" as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Field Office.

In 2007, Henry returned to Headquarters as the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI's Cyber Division, responsible for all FBI computer investigations worldwide, and has been praised in the media as the leader of a new National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, which is something he's a perfect candidate for, given his formative time at the NIPC, and his time in the National Executive Service.

As a CyberCrime Researcher, and as an InfraGard Member, I'm very pleased to learn of Mr. Henry's promotion. We look forward to following your leadership, sir!

Gary Warner
Director of Research
UAB Computer Forensics
Vice President Birmingham InfraGard

No comments:

Post a Comment

Trying a new setting. After turning on comments, I got about 20-30 comments per day that were all link spam. Sorry to require login, but the spam was too much.