Feeds

Met chief fears Brit cybercrime gangs

Swapping drugs for bugs

Top three mobile application threats

Britain's most senior police officer has raised fears that home-grown organised gangs are waking up to the low risks and high rewards of cybercrime.

Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, issued the warning in a Sunday newspaper article highlighting the importance of specialist officers. Debate around policing in the run-up to the Comprehensive Spending Review has so far been dominated by calls to preserve bobbies on the beat.

"At the moment, British criminals would probably have to buy 'packages' of bogus identities or virus kits from foreign criminal organisations. But for how long?" he wrote.

Sir Paul's warning challenges the common view that large-scale cybercrime is generally associated with Eastern European gangs. Only last week, the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) charged 11 Estonians, Latvians and Ukranians with stealing millions of pounds using bank details harvested by the Zeus Trojan.

Yet "there are disturbing signs that 'traditional' British organised crime is waking up to the profits and uses of e-crime," Sir Paul wrote.

"PCeU regularly receives calls from other Met units informing them that criminal gangs are using cyber communication to plan their crimes and launder the proceeds."

Traditionally, drug gangs would commit robberies to pay debts when they lost a shipment to law enforcement, but Sir Paul suggested the relative ease of cyber attacks makes them increasingly attractive to British career criminals.

"There is a risk that cyber crime will become their main source of cash flow," he wrote.

The PCeU was set up in 2008 and serves as the national unit for investigating cybercrime. However, the Home Office recently cut its small budget by 14 per cent, ahead of the CSR, which is expected to bring further cuts of about 30 per cent across policing.

Sir Paul concluded with a call to protect PCeU and other specialist units.

"We must... ensure that, if British crime gangs take up e-crime as enthusiastically as we fear, we can match the skills at their disposal. We must have the expertise to stay ahead of the criminals.

"Uniform officers alone will not keep the streets safe – specialist detectives are just as crucial to ensuring we are all better protected."

His article for The Sunday Telegraph is here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.