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The Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC) was the central government, non-law enforcement focal point for dealing with computer-related incidents affecting federal civilian agencies. Originally established in 1996 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the center was administered by the General Services Administration starting October 1998. Effective March 1, 2003, FedCIRC officially became part of the Department of Homeland Security's Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate (IAIP).
FedCIRC's primary purposes were to provide a means for federal civilian agencies to work together to handle security incidents, share related information, and solve common security problems. In this regard, FedCIRC:
- provided federal civilian agencies with technical information, tools, methods, assistance, and guidance;
- provided coordination and analytical support;
- encouraged development of quality security products and services through collaborative relationships with federal agencies, academia, and private industry;
- promoted incident response and handling procedural awareness within the federal government;
- fostered cooperation among federal agencies for effectively preventing, detecting, handling, and recovering from computer security incidents;
- communicated alert and advisory information regarding potential threats and emerging incident situations; and
- augments the incident response capabilities of federal agencies.
The FedCIRC tracked a variety of incident types such as root compromise, user compromise, denial-of-service attack, malicious code, website defacement, misuse of resources, and reconnaissance activity.
In accomplishing these efforts, FedCIRC drew on expertise from the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, academia, and federal civilian agencies. In addition, FedCIRC collaborated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Infrastructure Protection Center in planning for and dealing with criminal activities that pose a threat to the critical information infrastructure.