By Jordan Baker
Chief Police Reporter
September 6, 2007
CYBER criminals will try to exploit the Federal Government's proposed
health and welfare access card, interfere with e-passports and engage in
"industrial espionage", a federal study predicts.
The criminals will move away from a scatter-gun approach and start
targeting specific companies and people, the Australian Institute of
Criminology report on directions in technology crime warns. It says the
access card planned by the Federal Government will be a "likely target".
"Areas of risk will relate to dishonest initial enrolment of users as
well as data insecurity, both with respect to the card's computer chip
as well as supporting databases," it said.
Criminals might also try to compromise the quality of data protection
As government use of advanced technology increased, there would be an
increased risk to online services such as electronic voting and
tendering. "Such applications would be attractive targets for groups
wishing to disrupt or affect levels of confidence in government and
Criminals could exploit a household or consumer in a bid to get access
to businesses, and soon the attacks would come not only from people with
programming experience, but also from people with financial and legal
Cyber crime had been motivated by curiosity and fame. But it was
increasingly being driven by greed - hence the involvement of organised
crime - as well as revenge by disgruntled employees, and politics,
"Terrorist financing through the use of technology-enabled crime will
develop as an important area of risk," the report says.
As companies outsource operations overseas, or deal more with developing
countries, they will need to take steps to protect their information
security, the report says. Weaknesses could be introduced to overseas
software "by corrupt offshore employees or foreign intelligence
agencies", leading to industrial espionage.
As workers become more mobile and use more mobile and wireless devices,
their personal and corporate information will become vulnerable, the
report says. There was easy wireless access to networks, while "the ease
with which erased data on such devices can be recovered increases their
attractiveness to criminals".
Pre-paid cards and online international funds transfers provided new
options for money launderers, as did multiplayer online games. Such was
the sophistication of many online games, money launderers could buy
virtual cash using illegal funds and change it back to real money.
The report also warns the legal defences of cyber criminals will become
more sophisticated. They might challenge the admissibility of electronic
evidence or insist they were merely role playing.
The report recommends engaging the internet security industry to help
design secure software and hardware and setting up taskforces to
investigate cyber crime.
Copyright 2007 - The Sydney Morning Herald.
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