UK cops, boffins to crack out war plan against cyber-crims
Shock find: Hackers not just title of an Angelina Jolie flick
UK ministers have discovered that computer hacking is no longer the preserve of awkward teens tapping away in their bedrooms - and will now wage war on gangs raiding Brits' online accounts.
The government has formed a new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership to bring together top cops, security experts and boffins to come up with strategies to fight online crime rings. The brain bank will aid the National Cyber Crime Unit, Blighty's other crack anti-hacker team.
"For too long the public's perception of cyber crime has been a lone bedroom hacker stealing money from a bank account," security minister James Brokenshire said yesterday.
"But the reality is that cyber criminals are organised and global, with a new breed of criminals selling 'off-the-shelf' software to aid gangs in exploiting the public.
"This government is committed to tackling this threat and we have already had great success. But we want to go further and through the creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit within the National Crime Agency (NCA) and innovations such as the new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership, I am confident we can bring these criminals to justice."
The NCA was established by law in May 2012 and is expected to be fully operational by December this year. The agency will take on the roles of the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. Its mission is tackling organised crime, fighting electronic fraud and protecting kids from abuse.
Brokenshire launched the cyber-crime partnership during a speech at the British Computer Society, a chartered institute, on Thursday. The minister added that members of the public can play their part by reporting online crimes to Action Fraud, the UK's national crime reporting centre, and by taking basic security precautions when going online, such as using strong passwords and antivirus tools.
Simon Leech, director for HP’s enterprise security arm in EMEA, welcome the move.
"The UK’s new-cyber crime unit is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to tackling increasingly complex security threats to business and governments alike," Leech said.
"Our HP 2012 Top Cyber Security Risks Report recently revealed that total vulnerabilities are on the rise, particularly those for mobile, and so it’s more important than ever that companies take proactive steps to safe guard themselves, using actionable security intelligence from their information and security events to better identify, understand as well as address risk." ®
Biggest Criminal Gang
Every month my salary gets raided by a notorious gang that goes by the handle #HMRC
"Ello Ello Ello. Plod Here."
"Oh, Hi. I'd like to report a 'spearfishing' attack. Someone has repeatedly attempted to install Trojans on my computer via e-mail."
"Rugby League or American Football Sir?"
"Uhm, no. Computer Trojans."
"Ooooh. Yes Sir. We at Plod Central know all about those. I picked the American Football Screen Saver."
"No. Look I ran them under a Virtual Machine and used WireShark to log the Traffic. I've got the connection logs."
"Fantasy Football Sir. Are The Wiresharks a new Team on the Block?"
"No.. you don't understand. I've got the traffic logs."
"Ahh. Got you. I'll just transfer you to the relevent department. Wait one."
"Hi. Thank you for calling the Department of Traffic Wardens. Our hours of Business are When You Least Expect Us. Unfortunately we are busy slapping our quota of tickets about the place. Please call again some other time."
"new breed of criminal.."
"..selling off-the-shelf software to aid..."
Sorry, when did selling the software become a criminal offence. I'm sure they want to stop the production and sale but calling people who write the code (as opposed to those who use it) criminal is a bit of a stretch, in the same way that gun manufacturers are not criminal either (regardless of my personal opinion).
This sort of weasely wording is what sticks in the public's minds, and once people start to accept its constant repetition (like 'piracy is theft') they are more likely to accept crap new laws designed to 'address the problem'. If wording like this is not slammed then within a few years anybody who makes vulnerability scanners, pen-testing software, etc will be classed as criminals ('cos they aid the hackers). There is a fine line between legitimate scanners and things like metasploit framework - both of which may be used for legitimate and illegitimate purposes. The issue is by whom (and for what) they are being used, NOT that they are being produced and sold.
I'm all in favour of tackling the issue of hackers but things like this makes me angry.