Monday, November 24, 2008

Cybercrime Could Be As Destructive As Credit Crisis - - 20 Nov 2008

According to some of the world’s top crime experts, cybercrime could cause as much trouble as the recent credit crisis if regulations are not improved.

Cybercrime causes an estimated $100 billion in damages annually said Kilian Strauss, of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

According to Strauss, more internet experts are needed to tackle cybercrime. "These criminals, they outsmart us ten, or a hundred to one," Strauss added.

The scope for cybercrime damage is large. Criminal organizations often exploit the lack of oversight by committing internet crimes such as money-laundering, computer spying, and theft of personal information.

"We need multilateral understanding, account and oversight to avoid, in the years to come, a cyber crisis equivalent to the current financial crisis," said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Many countries, including the United States, have voiced concerns over internet crime’s ability to threaten national security, in particular, Russia and China’s ability to spy on and disrupt computer networks.

The quest for regulation comes at a time of regulatory rebirth, as leaders look to strengthen laws in the financial sector because of the recent global financial crisis.

"Because of the transnational nature of identity-related crime, and especially of cybercrime, if we do not tackle the crime everywhere we will not solve it anywhere," Costa said.

Khoo Boon Hui, President of Interpol, said gangs from China, India, Eastern Europe, and Africa are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, finding more sophisticated ways to steal money from people.

He also added that there has been a trend of company leaders being bribed by fraudsters claiming they have damaging evidence to bring against businesses.

Strauss said Internet crime watchdogs are hoping to learn from criminals willing to switch sides.

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