FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray (left) talked about cybersecurity threats at an Atlanta Press Club event on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

Credit: Marylynn Ryan / GPB News

FBI Director Christopher Wray visited his home city to give updates on technology and public safety. 

At an Atlanta Press Club event on Tuesday at the Commerce Club in Atlanta, Wray said crime aided by emerging technologies is a growing focus for the nation’s top law enforcement agency. 

He said the FBI is exploring new technologies to counteract the increasing threat. 

“Cyberspace today is rife with technically sophisticated actors stalking our networks, looking for vulnerabilities to exploit data to steal," Wray said. "Our IC3, which is our Internet Crime Complaint Center, reported that losses from cyber crime jumped nearly 50% last year from $6.9 billion to $10.3 billion.”

Wray said much of the agency's  focus is on using artificial intelligence, or AI, to secure the nation. He said threats from AI used maliciously are looming, and the technology can be used to steal or terrorize. 

"Just in the last few weeks, our folks rushed out to help a cancer treatment center in Puerto Rico get them back online after a China-based ransomware group shut it down, leaving dozens of patients at risk of paralysis or even death within days," he said, adding that AI can have consequences outside the digital world.

Wray also said that cybersecurity threats from foreign adversaries are of top concern to officials. 

He said, "We are going to pursue our mission wherever it leads us," he said. "Even when doing so requires mastering entirely new domains and learning entirely new technologies, because we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't help you, the business community, navigate these historic times safely and securely."