Computer Crime Research Center


State launches battle against cyber crimes

Date: December 17, 2004
Source: The Union Leader

CONCORD — The state is launching a cyber crime-fighting initiative to help law enforcement get ahead of computer-based crimes — whether it be detecting pornographic images embedded within otherwise innocuous pictures to extracting information from a suspect's Palm.

"We have got to stay in front of this, in front of the criminal," state Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte said yesterday in asking about 45 state, local and federal officials to join her office in the statewide effort.

The initiative is intended to forge long-term, sustainable partnerships between academia and law enforcement that would address what needs to be done to battle cyber crime and assemble the resources to do it, she said.

"This is an incredibly important issue for our state in terms of the way we investigate crimes," Ayotte said at the conference held at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Facility.

A survey of law enforcement agencies is being done by the University of New Hampshire Justiceworks program to determine what types of cyber crime they encounter, the resources they have to deal with it and how many of their staff are trained to investigate computer crime, said Andrew Macpherson, assistant research professor at UNH's Justiceworks.

Once experts are identified among various agencies, they will be asked to share their knowledge in training less-skilled colleagues. The New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council also intends to offer cyber-crime training.

Survey results should be known by January.

One area in which the state has made progress in addressing cyber crime comes through a grant that will fund a second forensics analyst at the New Hampshire State Police Crime Laboratory, Ayotte said.

The cyber-crime initiative is part of the state's Strategic Plan to Address Cyber Crime that developed out of a conference hosted by the Attorney General's Office and Dartmouth College's Institute for Security Technology Studies in November 2003.

Its goal is to develop and maintain effective ways to investigate, forensically evaluate and prosecute cyber crime.
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