The continuing rise in personal computer sales has led to an explosion of computer related crimes.
Credit card theft, cyberterrorism and child exploitation are a few of the crimes that are a mere mouse click away for Web surfers.
In an effort to stay up-to-date on ways to prevent and investigate computer-related crimes, more than 700 law-enforcement officials and security professionals from around the world will come together for a three-day conference this week.
In its third year, CyberCrime 2003 conference and exhibition unites businesses, government and law enforcement officials to share information in the war on cyber attacks.
The event will be at Foxwoods Resort Casino and feature educational sessions, displays, experts in security, live demonstrations and seminars from Sunday to Tuesday.
The event is hosted by Internet Crimes Inc., based in Madison, which offers a high-tech investigating training.
"The problem with Internet criminals is just when you figured out the way they are doing something, they find another way," according to the Internet Crimes Inc. spokesman Greg Sheehan.
Internet Crimes, Inc. president James Doyle, a 21-year veteran of the New York City Police Department and co-founder of the NYPD's computer and technology unit, is the featured keynote speaker at 9 a.m. Monday.
He has handled some of the most high-profile computer crime cases in the country, including "operation CEO," in which more than 200 celebrity identities were stolen.
His talk titled, "The White Collar Crime of the New Millennium: Identity Theft," addresses one of the fastest rising segments of computer crime, Sheehan said.
Identity theft is accomplished by taking someone's name, Social Security number, credit card number or another piece of personal information for fraud or theft.
In 2002, complaints of computer-related identity theft doubled, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which received 380,000 complaints, 43 percent of the total number of consumer fraud complaints. Second on the list of computer crimes is Internet auction fraud.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 700,000 Americans will be victims of some type of computer-related fraud. It is assumed that many of the cases go unreported.
Sunday will feature "Online Threats to Homeland Security" from the Department of Health and Human Services. Other events throughout the day include Internet fraud, investigation of Internet sexual assault cases and economic crime. A lab session by Internet Crimes Inc. will explore investigations into online child exploitation.