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Cybercrime wave

Source: Australian IT
Diana Thorp
Date: July 25, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime INTERNET access has opened crime floodgates in child pornography, stalking, identity theft, online fraud, hacking and criminal damage by virus and other attacks, dramatically increasing police workloads, according to a Victoria Police report.

In just a few years, technology-linked crime has increased the Victoria Police Computer Crime Squad workload by hundreds of per cent, the report says.

The squad's workload is expected to more than triple again by 2007-8, the service says in a submission to a parliamentary cybercrime inquiry.

Technological advances have brought mixed blessings, but the cybercrime squad has been able to absorb much of the impact and rise to the challenge of increased workloads, the report says.

"However, the tide of technology is accelerating beyond the squad's ability to respond," it says.

"It has permeated every aspect of society and may in some way be involved in virtually every offence imaginable: for communication, a repository for evidence, a target of or the tool with which, to commit an offence."

Child pornography was the second most prevalent offence the squad assisted with in 2001-2, the report says.

"In the fiscal year 2001-2002, the third most prevalent offence in which the CCS assisted was homicide, closely followed by drug-related matters, then sexually related offences other than child pornography."

The Parliamentary Joint Committee of the Australian Crime Commission is looking into recent trends and methods in cybercrime.

The inquiry is looking particularly at child pornography and associated pedophile activity, banking, including credit card fraud and money laundering, and threats to national critical infrastructure.

The Victoria Police submission says the internet had "opened the floodgates to a whole new dimension of offences including stalking, identity theft, online fraud, hacking and criminal damages by virus or Trojan horse".

It shows the number of tasks undertaken by the squad has soared.

"Requests for forensic computer analysis, including scene analysis associated with warrant search and seizure, have continued to grow at an ever-increasing pace," the submission says.

Even in the short term, it is reasonable to expect the time necessary to conduct a computer analysis will continue to grow because of greatly increased data volumes, the report says.

"Training to overcome this will become a major issue as more advanced technologies and tools are developed," it says.

Addressing a hearing in Melbourne last week, the crime department major fraud investigation division head, detective superintendent Phil Masters, said cybercrime took many forms and was of serious concern to law-enforcement agencies around the world.

"Rapid technological advances through faster connectivity and the global reach of the internet make fertile ground for opportunistic criminals to commit old offences in new ways," he said.

Original article: http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,6787309%5E15302%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html

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