Cybercops alive and kicking

Senses working overtime

Infosec blog Infosec is often a challenge to the senses. Despite charging the public £20 for entry on the door this year, Olympia was crowded with people fighting to make their way through a hall packed with vendors vying for their attention.

Journalists had a harder job than usual this year. The writing on the floor map of the brochure would challenge those with even the best eyesight (think about the last line in eye tests you might have taken as a child, as viewed from 20 paces).

Ears were challenged too. There wasn't enough room to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend the e-crime keynote on Tuesday morning. Fortunately, the presentation was relayed to plasma screens on Olympia's upper level. Unfortunately, the volume was so low that it was impossible to hear some speakers. A dodgy set up rendered Leo Cronin, a senior director of information security at LexisNexis the data broking firm that was subject to a serious information security breach, as Mr Mummble.

Fortunately, Tony Neate, a former officer of the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) and current e-crime liaison officer at the new Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), was able to make his voice heard when chairing the e-crime debate.

Neate's appearance at the conference on Tuesday was one of the first public appearances of the new Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Dubbed the UK's FBI by Britain's tabloids, SOCA will tackle drug trafficking, immigration crime, money laundering and identity fraud by developing intelligence on organised crime and pursuing key suspects while disrupting criminal activity.

Yesterday we questioned (somewhat mischievously) how much resource SOCA would be able to put into the fight against cybercrime. Neate tackled this point head on this morning.

"Rumours of our death have been greatly exaggerated," he said. "We are still supporting businesses and consumers in the fight against cybercrime. SOCA brings together more than 4,000 police, customs and immigration experts to create Britain's first non-police law-enforcement authority. Officers from the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) joined these ranks when the agency launched earlier this month. We're getting bigger and now four agencies have come together to fight cybercrime and other forms of serious crime."

Taking on board the lessons from previous years, nearly all the wireless LANs we could see running at Olympia were running some form of encryption. However, PCs in the press office allowed journos to use USB sticks without restrictions. Useful though this might be, is it really setting the right example? ®

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