Episode 171: Scott Larson – Solar Sunrise, Military Data Breach

Former agent Scott Larson served in the FBI for 13 years. While assigned to the Chicago Division, he was one of the original 13 FBI Laboratory-certified Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) field examiners.

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Scott reviews the Solar Sunrise case where, as the lead investigator, he tracked cyber intrusions into more than 200 Department of Defense (DoD) computer systems.

The highly sensitive international Solar Sunrise investigation revealed the identities of the culprits responsible for the hacking and data breach of military sites initially thought to be the work of hostile foreign entities.

During his Bureau career, Scott Larson participated in dozens of computer forensic searches and exams.

As acting chief of the Computer Investigations Unit at FBI headquarters, he served as program manager for FBI’s Computer Investigations and Infrastructure Threat Assessment Program and oversaw computer crime squads and investigations nationwide. As a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Washington Field Office, he supervised criminal, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism cyber-espionage matters.

Scott Larson also taught “Introduction to Computer Crime” and “Network Investigations” training at the FBI Academy.

After his resignation, he began working in the private industry and currently operates Larson Security, a firm dedicated to minimizing risks and protecting client assets through cybersecurity, digital forensics, and incident response. To learn more about Scott Larson and his work visit the company’s website larsonsecurity.com  

Special Agent (Former)

Scott Larson

6/3/90 – 6/3/2003







“Because they were patching, it made it harder to isolate what systems were hacked. That also lead to the possibility that a more sophisticated hacker, intelligence or terrorist-related, was targeting our military systems.”   —— Former Agent Scott Larson

The following are links to newspaper articles and an FBI video regarding the Solar Sunrise investigation:

LA Times – 4/27/1998: Hacker Case Taps Into Fame, Fury

Washington Post – 3/29/1999: Sunrise, Sunset

Wired – 9/2008:  Israeli Hacker ‘The Analyzer’ Suspected of Hacking Again 


FBI Website – Cyber Crime Key Priorities

The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating cyber attacks by criminals, overseas adversaries, and terrorists. Cyber Crime – FBI.gov










Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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