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Fighting Cybercrime

Date: July 18, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime The number of non-authorized penetrations into information systems has recently increased.

The Internet that became the most important information source after September 11, 2001, instantly responds to a political and economic life worldwide. On the first day after military operations were initiated in Iraq, more than 400 web sites with English and Arabian anti-war appeals were attacked. Developers of the "Iraq" computer virus sent the electronic message with an inscription “Go USA!!!” and offer to look through the latest photos made at a place of military events. As a result, many computers were infected.

The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) - the first in the history of Great Britain national law-enforcement organization on fighting computer crimes.

Great Britain has spent about 25 million pounds for three years on fighting cybercrimes where 10 million - on developing corresponding departments on spots and 15 million - on creating the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

The Internet allows organized criminal groups to receive a quick profit with rather small risk to be convicted. An access to the Net makes it possible to break the law in a remote and fast way irrespective of the nationality and residence. It is easy for criminals to deceive people, hide evidences and steal property. They represent a significant threat for a critical infrastructure of the developed countries. According to the Washington ProFile news agency, the terrorist number one - Osama bin Laden - has received computer program Promis manufactured by Inslaw Inc. that allows penetrating into the US governmental information networks. In particular, FBI and CIA use programs created by Inslaw Inc. If Ben Laden really has Promis he can observe operations of the US special services, obtain secret information on strategic objects in the USA, and launder money without any problems. Besides, this software might be used by Al Qaeda to prepare terrorist attacks against New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.

90 % of organizations annually suffered from illegal penetrations into their information systems^; 80 % of them confirm financial losses^; only one virus NIMDA has caused damage of more than 1,8 billion pounds^; in October, 2002 a cyberattack within one hour put out of action 9 from 13 main computers controlling the Internet global information movement^; annually there are cases of stealing private information to the sum of above 38 billion pounds.

Computer crimes have not been widely extended in Ukraine yet, but their cases have been already fixed. Thus, on November 16-20, 2001, Ukrtelecom with more than 700 computers and tens of servers were attacked with a virus. As a result, computers were disconnected from the Internet and the system of corporate e-mail was put out of action for some time. The damage caused by the attack made more than 1 million UAH [4]. Resonant crimes are committed against financial and bank systems as well [5]. The tendency to increase these crimes in Ukraine reminds the world one - annual increase by 2-3 times (according to Ukraine's MIA Department of Information Technologies, 680 hi-tech crimes were revealed only in 2002.

Therefore, taking into consideration that the electronic dependence favors committing cybercrimes, it is necessary to protect every enterprise on a national scale and throughout the world. First, fighting computer crimes provides for creating an appropriate legislative base, taking a complex of organizational measures (including a professional training) and giving a special technical support.

Ukraine's Criminal Code has Section XVI «Crimes committed by using electronic computers, their systems and networks», consisting of Articles 361, 362, 363 devoted to fighting computer crimes.

Computer Crime Research Center

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