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[ISN] Organised crime targets ALL IT staff
From: InfoSec News (isnc4i.org)
Date: Tue Oct 07 2003 - 01:10:16 CDT
By Iain Thomson
Employees persuaded to infiltrate IT systems, warns High Tech Crime
Organised syndicates are targeting IT staff to carry out online
crimes, according to the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).
While companies have been aware of the need to protect key management
staff such as board members and IT directors, there has been less
progress in protecting and monitoring IT and administrative staff.
And now these lower level staff are increasingly vulnerable to being
"Business has become host to organised crime parasites," said
Detective Chief Superintendent Len Hynds, head of the NHTCU.
"There is infiltration. We haven't found a single case of this being
through intimidation or other means; it's about making money."
Staff are typically targeted over a period of months in a social
rather than work setting. Once recruited, IT staff are selling
corporate secrets or allowing access to corporate systems for illegal
This can range from using the company's email servers to store illicit
material or send out spam, to major breaches where funds or company
secrets are stolen.
Since its inception the NHTCU has arrested over 100 people, ninety per
cent of whom had an IT background.
It has found criminals are devoting significant resources to
penetrating IT departments over long periods of time.
"We've had cases where an organised gang has put someone through an IT
degree just to infiltrate a company," said David Porter, head of
security and risk at security consultant Detica.
"Once in a job they had access to all kinds of sensitive information."
Hynds also called for more staff to deal with the increase in computer
crime around the country, and praised the level of international
co-operation the NHTCU was receiving from police forces around the
Recent successes for the unit include becoming a member of the south
east Asian police information sharing network.
The NHTCU is also redesigning its website to become a single point of
contact for businesses suffering from computer crime.
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