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Web paedophiles are turning to cracking techniques to cover their track, claims the head of the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).

Detective Chief Superintendent Les Hynds warned today of cases where pay-per-view child porn sites on corporate servers after gaining control to victims' servers.

Hynds declined to furnish details, citing operational reasons, but he gave a basic outline of the crime, which he describes as a growing problem.

"Organised crime gangs involved in paedophilia are starting to use hacking techniques to leave secret files on business systems," he explained.

This sounds like simple not so good old-fashioned FTP pornjacking to us.

Web paedophilia is one of five areas of serious or organised crime currently being targeted by the multi-disciplinary National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. Other areas of concern include drug trafficking (criminals using the Internet as a tool to distribute drugs and for money laundering), extortion, hacking, virus writing and fraud.

For businesses, fraud and extortion are the two most pressing concerns. In many cases the two are found to be closely related.

In order to encourage more business to come forward with information on hi-tech crimes, the NHTCU launched its Confidentiality Charter at the first UK e-crime congress in London today.

The charter is designed to provide reassurance that business can report suspicious hi-tech activity without the fear of causing unwelcome interruption. If firms report crimes to police there's a fear that police will prevent companies operating normally in order to preserve evidence.

While damage to reputation and brand remain a major obstacle to collaboration between police and business, the NHTCU reports that concern about "business continuity is the most prominent factor when developing outreach initiatives to combat cyber crime".

Hynds said: "Law enforcement must take responsibility for building the framework that will enable industry to collaborate and co-operate."

Government minister back the launch of the charter.

Home Office Minister, Bob Ainsworth, said: "The Confidentiality Charter, launched today, will help foster closer working between law enforcement and the business community it serves. The police cannot effectively tackle hi-tech crime in isolation - close working relationships based on trust between the police, IT industry and the on-line businesses are the key to tackling hi-tech crime." ®

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