The Secret Service was created in 1865 to combat the
counterfeiting of currency, and today the Secret Service is
taking the lead in the U.S. federal government's war against
electronic crime. Washington field office head and secret
service agent Michael Stenger says that evolving towards a
focus on electronic crime is natural for the Secret Service,
for these days a lot of counterfeiting is produced on
In addition, credit card fraud, check forgery, and even threats against President Bush's life are blossoming online, and in order to investigate these activities, the Secret Service has developed expertise en route. To date, the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program has graduated roughly 100 agents trained in computer forensics. This is important, for as Secret Service affiliate Wayne Peterson notes, almost every search warrant sought by the Secret Service today includes the targeting of a computer. In terms of the private sector, the Secret Service works with companies on investigations and on developing prevention techniques.
The Secret Service, FBI, and National Security Agency all believe corporate reporting of incidents is crucial to stopping e-crime, and private-sector reporting has been tepid. The Washington Secret Service office itself has 10 computer-forensics workstations, and Skytek provides a majority of the hard-drive bays there, while Apple Computer provides just two.