By Tom Sanders
at McAfee Avert Labs Day in Mountain View, CA,
21 Jul 2006
Cyber crime fighting effort requires an Enron-like scandal to force the
hand of legislators, the FBI argued today. Only after such an event could
the necessary reforms be made to allow authorities to effectively battle
online criminals, special agent Shna Boswell-Crowe with the Federal Bureau
of Investigation said.
"My personal theory is that computer crime is kind of like white collar
crime before Enron," Boswell-Crowe said during a presentation at the
McAfee Avert Labs Day in Mountain View, California
"It hasn't necessarily gone boom. White collar crime used to be the bank
[employee] who was sifting some money off, or some corporate guy who was
going to get rich anyway."
"I don't think [cyber crime] has had its day. I there hasn't been
something that's large enough that there's a large-scale awareness.
Awareness is increasing, but have we had that large event that makes
people think: 'This is really bad'?"
Boswell-Crowe complained that, while online crimes are committed within
seconds, it takes large amounts of evidence to obtain a search warrant.
There also is no clear legislation that defines when adware is installed
illegally. Unless law enforcement officers are able prove an intent to
cause harm, botnot operators could easily get away with installing adware
on computers in his control.
Consumers in the meantime are carrying the burden if they become the
victim of keyloggers, because technically they have voluntarily given up
their login and password information.
Boswell-Crowe however added that the agency is making progress in tracking
down and prosecuting online criminals.
Early cases have mainly involved teenagers who were looking to make a
quick buck, but forgot to properly clean up their tracks. Tracking down
professional organised cyber criminals takes more time, but the FBI is
building cases against such organised groups.
She declined further comment because the bureau does not discuss cases
before they are brought before a judge.
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