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Origins of InfraGard

The FBI's Computer Investigations and Infrastructure Threat Assessment Center (CITAC) was created in July 1996 to coordinate, program, and manage investigations involving computer crimes and national security and terrorist cyber threats to the national infrastructure. With the establishment of CITAC, the FBI recognized that the formation of alliances with both the public and private sectors was absolutely necessary to ensure a free flow of critical knowledge, as well as to coordinate responses to attacks on critical infrastructure components.

In the summer of 1996, the Cleveland field office of the FBI asked computer security professionals in the Cleveland area to meet with the FBI to discuss ways for the FBI and industry to work together to prevent, and when necessary, investigate attacks on the information infrastructure. This and subsequent meetings led to the establishment of InfraGard in the Cleveland area. Since then, InfraGard has been established in other field offices around the country.

InfraGard is a cooperative effort to exchange information between the business community, academic institutions, the FBI and other government agencies. The goal of Infragard is to ensure the protection of the information infrastructure through the referral and dissemination of information regarding illegal intrusions, disruptions, and exploited vulnerabilities of information systems.

Now implemented, the FBI's involvement in InfraGard has three components. An Alert Network provides timely information to security professionals in the private sector to aid in the protection of their own systems. A website has been established to provide information related to computer security and information infrastructure protection and provides links to other information security websites. Additionally, the InfraGard Help Desk, located at the National Infrastructure Protection Center, assists InfraGard members and FBI field offices with program issues, technical advice about InfraGard systems, and furnishes administrative support for local chapters.