Saturday, July 02, 2005

Investigating Fraud

Investigating computer crimes poses many problems for law enforcement. It isn't easy to investigate crimes that cross jurisdictions and borders, especially given how rapidly technology is advancing.

In the recent CardSystems case, it is still unknown whether the stolen information is being used, although there is a report out of Japan that about 1 million dollars in fraudulent credit card charges may be linked to it. Of course, CardSystems isn't commenting.

The point of compromise could very well be an insider, or an insider planted by organized crime. Recently, a case was solved at Teledata Communications Inc., where an insider at their help desk, who had access to banking information was responsible for causing 50-100 million in losses. Insider involvement in these scams is a common denominator. Here is a recent post, I did.

Congress is planning to look into this problem as the public becomes increasingly frustrated. Senator Bill Nelson (Democrat-Florida) and some of his peers have asked for a study about how terrorists could use information obtained in these data intrusions.

Choice Point, a data broker who was compromised, has recently stated they will not give out sensitive personal information unless it is requested by the person, or a government entity. Hopefully other data brokers will tighten restrictions also, but the fact remains that a lot of this information can be freely obtained through the internet and or via software programs that are marketed as a means of conducting your own personal investigations.

Laws must be enacted to protect the innocent, awareness raised and resources allocated to go after the criminals. You can take action by writing your political representative and reporting any potential crimes to the appropriate authority. All too often, we fail to do this when an obvious scam crosses our path.


Orikinla Osinachi. said...

The most annoying and notorious are the Internet scammers!

Most of them use Yahoo e-mail accounts.
Can we use Yahoo to trace them?

Ed Dickson said...

You can complain to Yahoo, but there are a lot of other complaint vehicles also. See my next post and click on the title for a list of resources.