Computer Crime Research Center


Computer Crime & Organised Crime

Date: March 07, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev

The mi2g informed Thursday that correlation between organised crime, politically and ideologically motivated hacker attacks as well as physical militant activity against government targets and large global businesses is increasing with every passing month according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit's "A Priori" project.

The main beneficiaries of political instability are known to be trans-national criminal syndicates who are increasingly involved in human trafficking, trade in narcotics, contraband and counterfeit goods, digital entertainment, child pornography and software piracy as well as perpetrating large scale financial fraud, online phishing scams, spam campaigns, hacker attacks and malicious code production.

Co-operation between Western, East-European, African, Middle-Eastern, Far Eastern and Latin American intelligence agencies has been strengthening to combat the dual threats of trans-national terrorism and organised crime. Organised crime is the increasingly active handmaiden of extremism because it benefits from instability and actively encourages it.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the Global Organised Crime Project and the Financial Crimes Task Force estimates global organised crime reaps combined profits of nearly $1 trillion per year. This figure is roughly equivalent to the GDP of the UK, the fourth largest economy in the world. The damage to society resulting from these criminal organisations and their influence on labour unions, political institutions, financial markets, and major industries is deep and long term.

About $200bn is conduited through untraceable man-to-man financial networks such as Hawala banking controlled through bankers in Pakistan, UAE, Egypt and Switzerland and active in over 150 countries. The Hawala system is known to have partially facilitated organised criminal activity and extremism, including the handling of some of the finances for the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) fabrication components to countries as diverse as Libya, Iran and North Korea.

The bombings in Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India in 2003 were all preceded by huge increases in digital attacks focused on those countries as well as the commercial and government assets of countries such as USA and UK, who were the specific targets in some cases.

Cyberspace is the new frontier into which extremists and criminals are moving. The cost of entry is low and chances of getting caught are lower still. Identity theft, phishing scams targeting over 30 major banks in the world and credit card fraud are all rising and provide cover for licit and illicit organised crime and extremist activities. Computers and communications not only perform information flow and order fulfilment in today's economy, they are a vital component of the command and control that makes our societies' critical economic infrastructure tick.

From spam to malware proliferation, the use of home computer zombies is growing. Every single computer on the planet, which can be recruited for malevolent purposes, is being targeted either as an end-target or a go-between for launching Distributed Denial of Service attacks followed by extortion or ransom demands. A number of companies have paid up. Some zombies are also used for illegal file sharing and mail relays or proxies. The cost of computer crime worldwide per annum now exceeds $220bn according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit.

Fundamentalist hacking activity is rising and has been getting increasingly sophisticated over the last two years. Hacking groups from Kashmir, Pakistan, Morocco, Turkey, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia and Malaysia are collaborating with each other as well as anti-globalisation groups based in the West to target international and domestic online assets. Large and small businesses, government computer networks and home computers have all been targeted with resultant business interruption damage in tens of billions of dollars.

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2006-03-22 20:33:12 - what do you think you know about organised... paul
2006-02-17 12:49:42 - Please I need an update on Computer Crime... Jim Obas'
2006-01-28 12:15:47 - i want a write-up containing the issue of... jude obinna
2005-09-14 12:28:28 - The cost of computer crime worldwide per... david
2005-09-06 15:49:04 - i want to have a content analysis on... prince nwokocha
2005-08-18 17:15:19 - What are the existing internet related... ABANIWONNDA SULAIMAN
2004-11-20 07:36:58 - i also want to no about organised crime in... sola
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