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FBI out for cyber criminals

Source: Tribune Chronicle
By John Grant Emeigh
Date: August 29, 2003

Cyber Crime YOUNGSTOWN - In an effort to battle the increasing risk of Internet- and computer-related crimes, the local FBI office is setting up an organization designed to help protect large corporations and utility companies from high-tech sabotage.

Special Agent John Kane said the FBI and other local organizations will establish a watchdog group known as Infragard to teach ''vital'' businesses and services to protect their infrastructure against computer-related crimes.

Infragard promises to look out for the interests of local banking and finance institutions, public utilities, telecommunications, transportation and other organizations the FBI considers critical to the area's welfare.

According to a news release from the FBI's Computer Crime Squad in Cleveland, these types of organizations are important to protect because ''their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense or economic security of our nation.''

Kane said these types of institutions that rely heavily on information technologies and the Internet to conduct business are often targets of ''cyber crimes.''

"Our goal is to educate CEOs and directors of major corporations and public utilities about these threats," Kane said.

This local Infragard is being set up as a provisional chapter of the one established in Cleveland in 1996. Kane said the FBI office in Cleveland was the first to start the Infragard system, and it has since been set up in other cities.

If an organization becomes a victim of a cyber crime, the FBI can become involved in the investigation.

"The No. 3 investigation priority of the FBI is cyber-based attacks," Kane said.

The types of crimes the FBI said are common to these types of organizations are: hacking into computer systems to steal or damage data, transmitting computer viruses, extortion based on threats to disrupt systems, Internet fraud and economic espionage.

Kane is inviting any organization in Trumbull or Mahoning county to join Infragard. The local Infragard will be organized by the local FBI, Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency, Ohio State Highway Patrol and cBoss Community Network.

Original article at: www.tribune-chronicle.com

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