The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to determine whether or not to lift a hold on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s new software update that is designed to block malware and other software that can compromise computers, security researchers said Thursday.
The FBI is moving ahead with a release of the software update to update its software to address the recent rise in botnet attacks that are increasingly focused on computers in the United States.
A cybersecurity expert at cybersecurity firm FireEye, Dan Gaffney, told The Hill the FBI is making the decision to push out the software because it’s “more of a matter of prioritizing their own security needs than the need of the community.”
Gaffney said the FBI will release the software on a rolling basis over the next few months and that the update could be released by the end of the year.
The FBI has said it will release it later this year.
Gaffrey said that, at this point, it doesn’t appear that the FBI’s software is capable of detecting all the malicious software that is circulating around the Internet, but rather, that it will detect malicious software only if it can be detected in the first place.
“It’s not that they’re not aware that they are using this [software] in the wrong way, it’s that they aren’t aware that it’s going to be used maliciously,” Gaffrey told The New York Times.
The issue of malicious software being able to infect computers is something that the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the FBI have been working on for years.
In November, the Department’s chief cybersecurity officer, Scott Breen, announced the agency would begin rolling out a new cybersecurity training curriculum to help law enforcement officials understand how to detect and mitigate malware infections.