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Cybercrime Enforcement Needs More Teeth

By Maria Bruno-Britz, Bank Systems & Technology Some people just don't give up. Everyone knows just how dangerous things are these days in terms of cybercrime. If you're a bank, you're target numero uno for determined hackers.

By Maria Bruno-Britz, Bank Systems & Technology

Some people just don't give up. Everyone knows just how dangerous things are these days in terms of cybercrime. If you're a bank, you're target numero uno for determined hackers.For instance, security services provider SecureWorks reported that hacker attacks on its bank clients rose a whopping 81 percent from last year. If you're a credit union, you're only slightly safer. SecureWorks said these clients faced a 62 percent rise in hacks in 2007. In terms of raw numbers, the average number of hackers launching attacks at each of the company's bank clients is 1,462 up from 808 last year. For credit unions, the firm now blocks 1,799 hackers per credit union per month, compared with 1,110 in 2006. On second thought, maybe the credit unions don't have it so good. SecureWorks has 733 bank clients.

Granted, these are figures from only one source, but on a macro level, they show the dogged determination of criminals today. It's almost quaint to think of the days when a bank heist consisted of a bunch of guys dressed in black dynamiting a safe open. We still hear about these attempts once in a while. But like everything else these days, the world of bank robberies has become far more convenient-thanks to the Internet. Perps can make millions from the comfort of their own desks. Plus, they stand less of a chance of being caught (never mind being prosecuted) since many of these attacks come from overseas.

If only law enforcement officials had the tenacity of these cybercriminals to make cybercrime an offense with real consequences. Perhaps I shouldn't say that since the authorities can only work with what they have. The directive for tougher cybercrime laws needs to come from the government level and they need to be agreed upon internationally. For too long, cases involving hacking and the like end up with the criminal receiving a virtual slap on the wrist. And that's if they can track the person down to begin with! Some of these people are funded not only by organized crime, but by hostile governments with deep pockets and a vested interested in allowing chaos to invade our financial system. It might start with individual bank hit here, another there. The numbers add up though. If tougher laws aren't enacted on a global basis, we'll only see the numbers increase and as the number of hacking attempts increase, so too do those hacks that are actually successful.

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