Originally Published: Monday, 17 January 2000 Author: Derrick H. Lewis
Published to: news_enhance_security/Security News Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Computer Crime Squad in the UK set to tacle Computer Crime.

[IN] The team will be used to counter "cyber criminals" who are using computers to commit fraud, launder money, spread pornography and share information about paedophilia, counterfeiting, and hacking.

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Cyber squad set up to tackle computer crime

By Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent

17 January 2000

Jack Straw is to set up a national computer crime squad to combat the growing problem of hackers, Internet fraudsters and pornography.

The Home Secretary has given the National Criminal Intelligence Service and chief constables 337,000 to draw up a detailed plan for the squad.

The team will be used to counter "cyber criminals" who are using computers to commit fraud, launder money, spread pornography and share information about paedophilia, counterfeiting, and hacking.

The unit will include technology experts from the private sector, the Inland Revenue, and the police. MI5 and GCHQ the Government's spying centre in Cheltenham, will also provide assistance. Technical analysis, threat assessment and intelligence gathering will take place at the National Criminal Intelligence Service(NCIS) in London, but a separate operational wing may be set up at Scotland Yard.

In a letter to NCIS, Mr Straw said that the start up money was "to prepare the ground for the development of a National Computer Crime Unit".

"High-tech and computer crime is a growing area which is open to exploitation by criminals, and it is right that NCIS should house the centre of intelligence and expertise to tackle it," he said.

The move comes amid reports that police are investigating attempts by British hackers to blackmail multinational companies. One group is alleged to have broken into the computer systems of at least 12 companies, including Visa, to steal confidential files.

Roger Gaspar, the Director of Intelligence at NCIS, and David Phillips, the Chief Constable of Kent and head of the Association of Chief Police Officer's crime committee, are drawing up plans for the new unit. NCIS officers are already gathering intelligence on cyber crimes and taking advice from code-breaking experts at the National Security Agency, the American intelligence organisation, and plan to exchange information with the FBI.

"The picture is becoming clearer, but no one yet knows the full scale of the problem," an NCIS spokesman said. "Among the crimes we are examining are frauds committed via computers, paedophile and pornographic images, hacking, race-hate sites on the Internet, criminals using encrypted measures to hide information, software piracy, and people breaking into private and corporate bank accounts."





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