This memorandum is in response to the problem that the local authorities are facing when it comes to apprehending criminals involved in cybercrimes. The real and present challenges that local authorities are trying to deal with cybercrimes is the lack of necessary knowledge and equipment to be able to suppress the growing number of cases related to internet crimes. The growth of technology advancements overwhelms the current justice system because of the difficulty in pointing out the culprits. More and ore sophisticated technology are being used to commit cybercrimes and the local police has to be well equipped and updated of the methods to keep up with the fast phase environment of the virtual world. The problems can be addressed by equipping the local police with basic skills and protocol that needs to be followed in resolving issues with cybercrimes.
When it comes to computer crimes there is no precise and reliable statistical data that can show the number of crime incidents that’s causing economic loss to its victims. One of the reasons is that most of the computer crimes occurring are happening without the victim’s awareness or sometimes it is difficult for them to identify the criminal and chooses not to report it to the authorities. Unless there is some kind of consensus among computer experts and law enforcement agencies, there would be a clear path on the objective of clearing the cyber space with criminals. Computer scientists are needed in order to match the capabilities of that of cyber criminals in utilizing security by means developing more sophisticated tools. Law enforcements on the other hand have to be determined in helping the computer professionals in identifying criminals and put them behind bars (Computer Crime, 1999).
Reports revealed cybercrimes costs victims of approximately $400 million a year and that doesn’t include unreported incidents so the numbers can be of higher substantial. There are a lot ways on how a criminal can do damages on the victim. Of them is altering websites, this includes making unauthorized changes to the website by adding external links leading to a suspicious websites. Others may use malicious software to destroy and steal pertinent information from the victim. There are crimes that were done out of emotional and personal agendas like harassing or stalking and sometimes verbal abuse. The gravity of law and punishment must also be addressed in order to warn cybercriminals from committing more crimes. There are justifications as well that will help authorities to assess situations whether it is acceptable or unacceptable to be [prosecuted according to the prevailing policies. Local police authorities should be adept to this kind of skills because the criminals in the virtual environment are far more difficult to deal with.
The issue at hand is the growing number of cybercrimes that needs to be addressed by equipping the local police with sufficient skills and information to battle cyber criminals. A lot of online activities are classified as cybercrimes such as piracy, computer intrusions and fraud. Currently, there are existing law enforcement groups that are focusing to target cyber criminals such as Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working group, Computer Crime Taskforce, National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force among others. But the problem is those groups are covering nationwide jurisdiction which results to delays in resolving the cases because of their limited hand. That is why the local police have to take the initiatives as well and get involved in the objectives. A lot of threats can potentially damage not only an individual but an entire organization as too. Phishing, fraud, scams and malware distribution are just a few common crimes committed in the virtual environment.
Local police efforts would greatly help in stopping cybercrimes, because the local authorities would be able to isolate the problem and contain it within their jurisdiction. If all local police departments has a dedicated team that will take care of such cases they can work in a network built principle. This will allow them to track the location of the criminal and request for jurisdiction if in case the criminal was found to be outside of their area of responsibility. Therefore, it is necessary for the local police to make known of how to fight these crimes, by doing so; the incidents of cybercrimes cannot only be prevented from the national but from the local level as well.
In order to achieve the main objective of training local police in fighting cybercrimes, several issues has to be identified and the major elements that must be emphasized.
1. Current Law – Accessing computer without authorization or by exceeding allowable access. Intentionally obtaining and accessing sensitive information such as financial reports, credit card information and issuer identifications. Accessing information pertaining to international and local communication from protected computer is punishable by law. In the current law, the focus of the prevailing law is more on unauthorized access of classified computers, but does not have provisions regarding virtual trade and commercial security.
2. Law Enforcement Procedure – The current channel in which cybercrimes can be reported for appropriate action is through online and by phone. But the issue and scope of crime has to be specified to be able to deliver complaints to the right bureau. FBI is the main action force in implementing the law on cybercrimes. After reporting the department concern will precede investigation (Reporting Computer, Internet-Related, or Intellectual Property Crime, N.D.). Going through the procedure might be time consuming because the office of concern is centralized.
3. Tools – Apart from training another important element in the issue with controlling cybercrime is with the use of appropriate tools. Shadow files software for example is used for checking deleted files existing in an electronic storage device. Forensic Soft Block is useful software that authorities normally use to block write actions and provides safe acquisition of media from a storage device. There is a lot of other software that can be used to help the local police in fighting cyber rimes and their knowledge on those software is crucial in effectively implementing new policies.
Common cybercrime cases:
1. Fraud – performing false transactions done online on behalf of a legitimate person.
2. Spamming – are the unsolicited emails sent to the victim with misleading information
3. Offensive content – openly posting malicious and obscene website graphics and text
4. Cyber Terrorism - this is known as disseminating information using the internet to excite fear among the cyber community.
- Several options are possible in order to address the aforementioned issues effectively from a local authority’s point of view;
- Dissemination public awareness information through online and literature distribution.
- Commissioning a software provider to facilitate training
- Ratifying procedures in reporting and investigation process
- Setting up public interactive website dedicated for complains if departmental budget permits.
- Create a communication line connecting to all central agencies on cybercrimes.
- Implementing security measures on computer and access use.
The best policy that should have to be implemented in order to put a stop on cybercrimes is to develop executable intelligence on cybercrime in local authority level. This will require commitment from the staff to the higher officers of the local police station. Assessing the overall risk would result to more accurate findings and therefore it is important to exercise vigilance. Once a commitment is at hand there are several steps that should be developed o improve cyber security. The approach has to focus on gathering the necessary intelligence and perform analysis and then followed by assessment.
A proper approach must also be observed in executing the intelligence action. First of all is to identify promontories or where the source of the issue is coming from. This involves scanning the internal and external environment with consideration to channels where the cyber activities happen. Next is to gather intelligence from all sorts of sources such as underground forums, industry associations, publications, hash database and law enforcement source and all of them falls under the external feeds. Internal feeds on the other hand can be utilized by means of data vulnerability, human intelligence, sandboxes, mailbox abuse, security event data and fraud investigations.
After acquiring all the data, analysis has to take place to derive the amount of data from the intelligence gathering and the easiest way to do analysis is through correlating findings, normalizing, human review and parsing (Combating the fastest growing cyber security threat N.D.). The analysis is intended to provide a mechanism for feedback and later review. After which, the data has to be evaluated to emphasize the nature of violation in respect to current anti-cybercrime laws.
Standler, Ronald B. (N.D.). Web. Computer Crimes. Retrieved February 12, 2012 from http://www.rbs2.com/ccrime.htm
Cybercrime.gov. (N.D.). Web. Reporting Computer, Internet-Related, or Intellectual Property Crime. Retrieved February 12, 2012 from http://www.cybercrime.gov/reporting.htm
Deloitte.com. (N.D.). Web. Combating the fastest growing cyber security threat Crime. Retrieved February 12, 2012 from http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/AERS/us_aers_Deloitte%20Cyber%20Crime%20POV%20Jan252010.pdf