Cybercrime and criminal activity

Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst at Harvest’s IT said in Network World suggests that the individual can play a part in controlling cybercrime as well. He notes that there are far too many persons subscribing to fake messages and “tricky URL obfuscation, and elaborately crafted Web sites. ”   If the individual used more caution this kind of cybercrime would not be as successful and as a result would taper off.

Stiennon submits that individual caution will go a long way provided private organizations improve and increase efforts and funding to study and research effective means of securing data and computers against the risk of cybercrime contamination. This kind of effort would assist the individual by improving means by which tricky electronic messages and web pages can be identified.

Apart from encouraging private sector participation by way of information sharing and self protective awareness the harmonizing of national laws as encouraged by the United Nations and the European Convention are the best means of regulating and controlling cybercrimes on an international level. It might not be possible to obtain the cooperation of all countries but it will serve to notify cybercriminals that the chances of escaping detection and prosecution are growing slimmer.

The effectiveness of wide scale international cooperation was manifested in the recent arrest of a Ukrainian national in Turkey who was suspected of a cybercrime in respect of an American business. Maksym Yastremskiy, a Ukrainian national was suspected of theft of customer records from TJX, a US retailer. John Dunn reports that: “The TJX breach compromised the customer records of 45. 7 million people, and is believed to have happened through the hacking of open wireless routers at subsidiaries of the company. ”

This particular case indicates that the net is widening under the auspices of co-operation among authorities on an international level. In another case, the US Department of Justice reported success in a joint investigation between Chinese and US law enforcement authorities in both countries. In an operation knows as “summer solstice” which commenced in 2005 ended in the arrest of at least twenty-five persons and “the search of multiple businesses and residential locations” in China. In the United States, the FBI executed at least 24 search and seizure warrants.

The summer solstice was described by the FBI as an operation which: “…encompasses multiple investigations currently being conducted by the FBI in Los Angeles and the MPS, Economic Crime Investigation Department (ECID), in which criminal organizations responsible for manufacturing and distributing counterfeit software have been identified in both Shanghai and Shenzhen; as were distributors located in the United States. ” The facts reveal that one of the groups was an organization doing business as Ma Ke Pei, a Shanghai based company was distributing counterfeit Microsoft software to US customers.

In 2003 Ma Ke Pei was indicted in New York for this conduct and fled the jurisdiction. Ma Ke Pei later materialized in China where its counterfeit sales continued on an international level. When the Chinese Ministry of Public Security commenced investigations they received information and assistance from the US FBI. As a result of this cooperative investigation the counterfeit material was seized and the suspects arrested notwithstanding the global implications and jurisdictional disparities.