Monday, December 03, 2007

Websites sell secret bank data and PINs

On the front page of this morning's Times: Websites sell secret bank data and PINs.

Nothing particularly new here but the Times have reported the specific sites to Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, and he has agreed to investigate.

"Mr Thomas will address the Commons Justice Committee tomorrow on the addional powers that he says are needed to prevent breaches of data protection. He believes that reckless failure to protect information should result in prosecution and that his staff should have powers to raid government and business premises.

Hacking sites act as online bazaars for stolen personal information. They are well run, hierarchical groups structured like businesses. Some even have review sections where buyers can recommend a particular fraudster...

Senior police officers are concerned that current methods of dealing with large-scale data protection breaches are unworkable. Detective Chief Inspector Charlie McMurdie, of the Metropolitan Police e-crime unit, said: “At the moment people report internet crimes to a local police station but no one locally has the resources to investigate properly.”

Since April customers have been told to report card crimes to their banks rather than to the police. Mr McMurdie, backed by the main banks, has asked the Home Office for £1.3 million to fund a central e-crime unit."

All I would say is that the government has already rejected overtures to get serious about technology-complemented crime and I suspect Chief Inspector McMurdie is asking for a small sum in the expectation of not getting much. But £1.3 million is nowhere near enough to fund the technically literate police force we need to deal with these kinds of crimes not to mention the technical infrastructure required.

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