Monday, June 16, 2008

More villains turn to e-crime

EASY CRIME : More villains turn to e-crime

Lower detection rates and ease of execution make e-crime attractive

Ambrose McNevin,


12 Jun 2008


Drugs gangs and armed robbers are turning to e-crime, as it is much harder to detect and the chances of being caught are much lower.

The world of e-crime has become low-tech, according to presentations to this week’s e-crime summit in Newport, Wales.

“It used to be considered that e-crime was high-tech crime but now there are much lower barriers to entry and, being very innovative, criminals have moved from armed robbery to drugs and are now exploring opportunities in e-crime,” Chris Corcoran, chief superintendent of North Wales Police and chairman of the e-Crime Wales Steering Group, told Computing.

Corcoran said that the police have been overwhelmed by this shift, and are now having to play catch-up. “The realisation is that e-crime is an everyday crime. There was a time when well-educated, IT-literate hackers were considered to be e-criminals but it has become easier to commit these crimes,” he said.

“It is now a very broad market covering everything from denial of service and phishing attacks to the sale of stolen goods on auction sites.”

So-called ethical hacker Jason Hart, a director at security company Cryptocard, said: “Wherever you are in the world people are talking about e-crime, but few are doing enough to protect themselves from it. Those in business need to understand how vulnerable the vast majority of them are from rudimentary attacks, and how frequently they take place.

“Most importantly, they need to understand that effective remedies to these issues do not need to be complicated, expensive or technically complex.”

In Wales last year e-crime is estimated to have cost £294m, and figures from The European Network Information Security Agency (Enisa) showed six million computers in the European Union are infected by ­ and connected to ­ botnets and spam. This is said to be costing businesses €65bn (£51bn).

Wales intends to make itself the destination of choice for inward investment and as a location of safe business through its efforts to counter e-crime, which include the appointment of e-crime specialists at each of the four Welsh police forces.

This week also saw the launch of the Information Security Awareness Forum (ISAF) web site which aims to educate businesses on the risks of e-crime.

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