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Home » Hacking News » Huge increase in hackers and pornographers say UK Police

Huge increase in hackers and pornographers say UK Police

by Nikola Strahija on December 8th, 2002 British police are making a special plea to business to report computer crime after announcing a huge increase in the activities of hackers and Eastern European criminals. Detectives are so concerned they are even prepared to waive its mandatory obligation to prosecute in return for more information.

Companies which have been victims of cyber crime have traditionally been reluctant to talk to police because of the bad publicity a court case could arouse. The move, timed to coincide with this week’s three day E-Crime Congress, organised by the National High Tech Crime Unit, represents an increasing recognition from the police of the damage computer crime is wreaking on UK business. According to the DTI’s Information Security Breaches Survey 2002, computer hacking and virus attacks are costing £10bn p.a. and 78% of large-cap companies have experienced some kind of electronic attack in the past year. The average cost of a security breach is £30,000.

The CBI’s survey revealed that 45% of cyber crime was caused by hackers, 13% by ex-employees, another 13% by organised criminals, and 11% by current employees. Credit card fraud represented only 4% of the most serious incidents. According to chief superintendent Michael Deats, deputy head of the NHTCU, a sudden influx of criminals from the Eastern bloc, coupled with local criminals turning to cyber crime, has underlined the urgency of stepping up efforts. "There is a very real threat emerging and, if we want to tackle it, we have to do it with the collaboration and co-operation of business," said Deats. "We need an exchange of intelligence on an intelligence-only basis." The squad’s success in exposing paedophiles operating on the internet, which has resulted in high-profile prosecutions all over the world, has inadvertently revealed the extent of criminal involvement in e-crime. "There appear to be close links between eastern European hackers attacking western businesses and internet pornographers. Incredibly, hackers used by one pay-per-view paedophile site took over the computer system of a major UK company and used it to host the gang’s website. "Eastern Europe is a significant threat, and we’re seeing a disproportionate amount of electronic attacks coming from there," Deats said.

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