Cop: Viruses better than bank robbery

Powered by SC Magazine
 

London top cop's vision.

London Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, has predicted that British gangsters could soon turn to local virus writers to fund criminal activities, rather than the traditional option of robbing a bank.

"Traditionally, when a gang loses a drugs consignment to law enforcement, they commit robberies to pay their debts and finance another shipment. But robbing a bank or cash van is risky. How much easier to extort the price of a drugs consignment from a cyber attack on a company," he warned.

"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? There is the potential for gangsters to hire their own writers of software."

Last week the Metropolitan Police announced the arrest of 19 people in the UK in connection with the Zeus banking-trojan.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation also released photos of 17 people it wanted in connection with the same operation as it announced the arrest of 10 others for their alleged involvement in it.

Stephenson said London's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) was as vital as its homicide team, yet cyber criminals outperformed its technical ability.

"My investigators tell me the expertise available to them is thin, compared to the skills at the disposal of cyber criminals," he said.

Meanwhile, cyber criminals were enjoying a boom in trade, including in areas such as education.

"Suspects have allegedly offered sophisticated online courses in cyber fraud," he said.

Stephenson pleaded to the public not to pressure the government to cut back funding for the PCeU.

The PCeU was working out of a "modest" office block, comprised of a small team of officers and civilian support staff, which cost £2.75 million (AU$4.4 million) each year.

Some Britons apparently would prefer a greater police presence on the streets rather than the internet.

Their view was to "leave cyber crime to the banks and retailers to sort out", he said.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Cop: Viruses better than bank robbery
 
 
 
Top Stories
At the top of her game
A decision to bring digital operations back in-house three years ago has paid big dividends for Tabcorp.
 
Westpac hires SAP man as CTO
Creates four new IT lead positions.
 
Qld Transport to replace core registration system
State's biggest citizen info repository set for overhaul.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  38%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  8%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  21%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  5%
TOTAL VOTES: 999

Vote