Cyber crime: It’s all about data, 2

Cyber crime = crime. How do we make police forces understand this and how to get it prioritized? In this series of blogs I am looking into whether aggregating data can change the way cyber crime is approached and prioritized.

At a seminar at the IT Security trade fair in Utrecht detective super intendant Charlie McMurdie, head of the cyber crime unit of the London Metropolitan police, said that cyber crime was recently prioritized by the UK government. She also said the following and I’m allowed to quote this.

“We need to train all police to have a basic understanding of cyber crime. Only then will they recognize what the reporting citizen is telling him. Until that moment cyber crime isn’t understood to be cyber crime nor will it get registered as such.

The issue is that the internet and technology is now an integral part of our daily life, at work or leisure, it is also now part of virtually every crime we investigate and therefore the ability to have a basic ability to understand and deal with the technology aspect of crime needs to be part of all officers training.”

This is a statement with quite some implications and not only the magnitude of training. If police officers that have to report on cyber crime do not understand what is being reported to them, this does not only mean that it isn’t categorized, it also means that it is not followed up adequately. A basic training could, probably should amend this.

Is it also true that the term “cyber” crime also sounds scary? That police officers are put of by the term cyber? That it is to alien, comes from abroad, “it’s cyber, so we cannot do anything about it?”, a sentence that I’ve heard too often around Europe in the past five years. If this is so, than we have a second reason why reporting and investigating lag behind other crimes.

So not reporting = not investigating. If reporting fails and aggregation doesn’t take place then there will never be more priority for cyber crime. However, we’ve heard Mrs. McMurdie also say that it was. On the basis of what? Assumptions, fear or other data then from reporting?

Is training all police the way forward? Who should train the police forces? What basic subjects should a basic training have? I’m looking forward to your reactions again.

Wout de Natris

Haarlem, 12 November 2010

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About Wout de Natris

As a consultant I specialise in establishing new and different relationships between industry, governments and law enforcement where internet safety and the fight against cyber crime are concerned. This makes me a bridge builder. Hence the blogs name. In this blog I intend to stress the need for interaction, cooperation and exchange of information in order to change the mentioned relationships. On offer: a comprehensive training on all non-technical aspects of spam enforcement and a cyber awareness presentation for companies and institutions
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8 Responses to Cyber crime: It’s all about data, 2

  1. Nigel Phair says:

    I think first responders are actually more tech aware than is commonly thought. Problem is that it takes time to locate evidence on digital devices,so it is generally easier to seize all items, take them back to the office and either attempt their own analysis (generally in a hap-hazzard, un-forensically sound manner), or ask a specialist examiner to do it (which may mean wait times of 12+ months).

  2. Chet Uber says:

    I think that it is essential for LEO First Responders have basic training on the identification and handling of media, computers, cameras, et al. For two years I taught a one hour class on this subject at a CompUSA training room. My firm paid for pizza and soda and we covered almost 100 subjects in two years. We got in contact with people that had already created the laminated flip books like USSS, Paraben and others and we made sure that by the time we were done a First Responder and even the detectives understood what a computer was, what all the essential parts are that they would come into contact with.We had special speakers that helped on writing search warrants and trap and trace. We reached out to the community – Omaha. Which had about 10 affiliated cities with their on police force, two sheriffs offices, an USAF base, and a CCTF. I basically took things that I had used in the past for HTCIA and pay for play training and I did it for free – BECAUSE no one else was doing it. I know that right now there are a group of people affiliated with the Cybercop portal, the initiative is headed by Kevin Manson, ESQ, JD a former FLETC Senior Instructor on Cybercrime issues. No exaggeration in 20 years he taught over 100,000 agents and just retired from DHS/FLETC and can’t handle retirement so he is working on just this type of program.

    I have a saying. If it does not matter who gets the credit you can do great things.

    Also to delineate and reiterate the training we were looking for were two Digital Officer Safety and Digital Basics for First Responders. For the higher end as Todd points out there is ICAC. The issue with that is that kids open up taps of volunteers and funding.

    Daily crimes are not so well covered.

    To close we were able to just by convincing the store it was a good thing, our firm as I said supplied food and there was not charge but the free lunch got officers to take time off and attend. We had everyone from security professionals who have to work with LEO, prosecutors, street cops, etc. It was great fun – unfortunately CompUSA closed and I was tired after two years and near the end had heart issues.

    I would love to help work on this. We have a science directorate that has created a Lawful Intercept Guide for example which is ready soon to give out. It is very complete and will be free.

    Chet

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