Investigation & Surveillance

Cybercrime is now one of the worlds fastest growing criminal activities

Prime Minister David Cameron is reported to have said that Cybercrime is costing the UK economy a staggering £27bn per year.  He spoke at a summit in London where he announced that tackling Cybercrime is top priority, ‘It costs just 69p about the price of a song on iTunes to buy someone’s credit card information online.’

Cybercrime involves a variation of activities, some of which include financial scams, computer hacking, downloading of pornographic images, and virus attacks.  In the year 2000, a virus called the love bug crippled at least 45 million computers worldwide causing millions of pounds of damage.

‘Hacking’ as it is commonly known, is best described as a person that uses their skills to gain unauthorised access into IT systems.  British Police are said to have defined Cybercrime as the use of any computer network for crime.

Hackers have been known to break into computer systems of banks and other businesses with the intention of stealing money or credit card numbers, which is just as valuable to the criminal.

Cyber criminals have been known to have set up ‘online shopping websites’ on the internet that offer products at fantastic rates to purposely lure in unsuspecting buyers. Once the victims supply their credit card information, the site then disappears.  These businesses then vanish with no phone number, no address, and therefore no redress.

Identity theft is also a rapidly growing crime.  This does not have to be done by computer hacking. There are many ways that we can prevent this. It is very easy for a criminal to obtain our personal information. With many people using social networking sites, personal information such as dates of births, maiden names, children’s names, telephone numbers are readily available for criminal use.  Once personal information is obtained about a person, the criminal can then apply for credit cards and run up huge bills.

The UK government is taking steps to help tackle cyber crime.  David Cameron has announced today that the government is investing in the region of £650 million in improving the countries cyber defences.

The National Hi Tech crime unit is in the process of being set up in a bid to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to take part in e commerce.  A team of ‘cyber cops’ will help police the Internet.