Feeds

Met chief fears Brit cybercrime gangs

Swapping drugs for bugs

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.