Cyber-Crime Cops Get Organized

The Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group is a special task force of international cyber cops; they met in London this month to fight cyber crime.

The global law enforcement community has been building operational partnerships as the need arose; this is just the latest initiative to share intelligence. The group was first formed in 2006.


(Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group)

Some of their activities and accomplishments:

  • Collectively developed a comprehensive overview of the transnational cyber threat—including current and emerging trends, vulnerabilities, and strategic initiatives for the working group to pursue (note: the report is available only to law enforcement);
  • Set up a special area on Law Enforcement Online, the FBI’s secure Internet portal, to share information and intelligence;
  • Launched a series of information bulletins on emerging threats and trends (for example, we drafted a bulletin recently describing how peer-to-peer, or P2P, file sharing programs can inadvertently leak vast amounts of sensitive national security, financial, medical, and other information);
  • Began exploring an exchange of cyber experts to serve on joint international task forces and to learn each other’s investigative techniques firsthand; and
  • Shared training curriculums and provided targeted training to international cyber professionals.

The group will meet in a three-day conference this May; this meeting will be hosted by the FBI.

The cyber-cops are going to have to work hard to keep up; cyber thieves are sharpening their knives and using the Internet to distribute tools. According to the BBC, the hacking tools market is starting to mature.

Mr Eades said some hacking groups offer boutique virus writing services that produce malicious programs that security software will not spot. Individual malicious programs cost up to £17 (25 euros), he said.

At the top end of the scale, said Mr Eades, were tools like the notorious MPack which costs up to £500.

The regular updates for the software ensure it uses the latest vulnerabilities to help criminals hijack PCs via booby-trapped webpages. It also includes a statistical package that lets owners know how successful their attack has been and where victims are based.

MPack has proved very popular with criminally minded groups and in late June 2007 managed to subvert more than 10,000 websites in one attack that drew on the tool.

Hacking groups also operate volume pricing schemes and discounts for loyal customers, he said.

If you're not invited to the meeting, try seeing the recent movie Untraceable, a film about an elite FBI cyber-crime unit chasing a serial killer - online.

Read more at Cyber crime tool kits go on sale and International cyber-cop unit girds for uphill battles; see the FBI Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group page. Via /..

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