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Experts Say More Research Needed to Foil Cyber Criminals


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Experts Say More Research Needed to Foil Cyber Criminals

David Maimon, Assistant ProfessorCriminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of Maryland
David Maimon, Assistant Professor
Criminology and Criminal Justice
University of Maryland

by Mil Arcega, VOA News

Virtually non-existent two decades ago, cybercrime has become one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises around the world. Estimates peg the global cost of crimes ranging from malware to data theft at about $100 billion a year. And it's growing. Efforts to combat the problem have taken on urgency, but, there is growing debate on how best to foil hi-tech offenders.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live - if you have access to a computer, you are a potential target for cyber criminals.

And it’s not just individuals at risk. 

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, charged eight people for launching cyber attacks on foreign banks that could have netted $45 million.

"This was a 21st century bank heist that reached through the Internet to span the globe.  But instead of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and malware," Lynch said.

Alan Edwards, president of the web security consulting firm Whitehorse Technology Solutions, says the foiled heist, and recent revelations that U.S. missile defense systems may have been breached by Chinese hackers,  underscore the growing sophistication of cyber criminals.

"They’ve changed from being 14 year-old geniuses who are bored, just trying to crash the system to cause trouble, to now organized crime, to government-sponsored, quite frankly," Edwards said.

Edwards' company specializes in providing real time web traffic security and monitoring...

While beefed up network security is crucial criminology professor David Maimon, of the University of Maryland, says that's only half the solution.

"The way we’re doing things right now in computer science, and in our attempt to solve this issue, is by simply focusing on the network and the computers.  And that would be the equivalent of a criminologist trying to figure out why an individual committed a crime by focusing on the gun or the door," Maimon said.

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May 30, 2013

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