[ISN] FBI Helping Thailand To Catch Computer Criminals

From: jerichot_private
Date: Wed Apr 15 1998 - 00:12:29 PDT

  • Next message: jerichot_private: "[ISN] W3C focus on privacy, not security"

    Forwarded From: Frans Mulschlegel <Mulschlegel_FJt_private>
    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05t_private>
                    FBI Helping Thailand To Catch Computer Criminals
    OTC  4/14/98 7:16 PM  
     BANGKOK, THAILAND, 1998 APR 14 (Newsbytes) -- By Pongpen Sutharoj, The 
    Nation. Computer technology is becoming a new tool to commit crime from 
    anywhere around the world. It's essential that police with new  electronic
    investigation techniques adjust to cope up with a new breed  of criminals. 
       Modern-day crime is not the same as in earlier times. The gun once  used
    as a tool by bank robbers has changed to a portable computer. The  trigger
    finger has been replaced by fingers tapping on a keyboard.  Financial
    institutions can now be rapidly attacked from anywhere around  the world,
       Computer crime has been around for several years, starting when 
    computer systems began to link electronically for business purposes.  The
    new breed of criminal uses advantages and loopholes found in  computer
    networks to get inside businesses. 
       In the past few years the case of Citibank became an example of the  new
    trend in crime. Working from Russia, a 30-year-old hacker, Vladimir 
    Leonidovich Levin, used his laptop computer to hack into the bank's 
    computer system in the United States and stole US$10 million from the 
    bank, remotely. 
       The case was investigated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, 
    which eventually caught Levin by following an electronic trail of 
    evidence. A month ago, Levin was sentenced in New York to 36 months in 
       David Carter, a professor at Michigan State University, widely 
    recognized for its computer crime research, has said that anywhere 
    computers are used, there is likely to be computer crime, in both  advanced
    or still developing countries. 
       Pol Colonel Peeraphan Prempooti, the Foreign Affairs' deputy  commander
    of the Royal Thai Police Department who is involved in  computer crime
    investigation in Thailand, said that computer systems  which are linked to
    networks help criminals to organize crime since  they are no longer limited
    to committing a crime in one country. 
       He said therefore it's difficult for police in each country to know 
    where the crime is being organized. The way to suppress crime has to 
    change to cope with the new breed of high technology criminals. 
       The FBI is an investigation agency with more experience coping with 
    suppression of computer crime. The agency has trained its staff to 
    electronically investigate crimes using laptop computers. Two years  ago,
    it set up a special unit, called the Criminal Squad 37,  specifically to
    track down criminals who attack computer systems. The  FBI is presently
    investigating 500 computer crime cases, up from 200 in  1996. 
       Even though Thailand does not yet have advanced computer crime 
    investigation techniques like the FBI, the Royal Thai Police  Department,
    which oversees crime prevention and suppression, has also  paid serious
    attention to the issue. The department two years ago began  to train Thai
    police to tackle a new type of crime and at this stage,  claims to have
    around 15,000 officers, or 30 per cent of all Thai  investigating police,
    who can deal with this new form of crime.  Peeraphan said this is the first
    step. The police department plans to  train all 200,000 Thai police related
    to crime investigation to handle  computer crime. 
       Since computer crime is considered to be the crime of the future, the 
    department has also established computer crime courses in training  centers
    for all police levels, starting from police students through to  police
    commanders. Meanwhile the department has cooperated with the US  government
    to set up a new international police college in Thailand,  hoping to train
    Thai police as well as other related law enforcement  authorities in the
    latest methods of suppressing new activities such as  computer crime,
    commercial crime, and corruption investigations. The  new college is
    expected to open in June this year. 
       He said the US government will help absorb all costs related to 
    training. All training courses will also be done to the same standard  as
    FBI courses. 
       The idea to help Thai police to deal with this new form of crime 
    stemmed from a computer-related crime case five years ago when Thai  police
    had a request from Interpol, an international police agency.  They were
    asked to arrest a foreigner who used Thailand as a base to  steal US$20
    million from a bank in Switzerland via a computer network.  Peepaphan said
    with that cooperation, the Thai police arrested a man  who used his laptop
    computer to connect to the Swiss bank's computer  system to transfer money
    to his accounts in New York and Australia  illegally. In this case the man
    stole the bank's password to get into  the computer system and make a fake
    financial transfer order. 
       "At that time, Interpol made an electronic investigation and  eventually
    found that the crime was committed in Thailand. Interpol  asked Thai police
    to arrest the suspect, who we found in a hotel here  with his laptop
    computer as evidence," he said. He added that this case  made the
    department realize that computers can be used as a new tool to  commit
    crime and Thai police needed to tackle this unexpected case. 
       Peeraphan said police will soon be able to trace computer crime cases 
    and find the source of the crime if they understand the cycle of  computer
    crime. This is because on computer systems, any transactions  are recorded,
    allowing the police to trace where the transaction  originated. The
    electronic trail easily leads police to the source of  the crime. 
       To achieve that, Thai police have to be trained to understand the  whole
    process of computer crime investigation. At the very minimum,  they have to
    know the fundamentals of collecting and investigating  digital evidence in
    various incidents. 
       "They have to know how to make an audit-trial on each computer system 
    they find in the incident. This is to prove whether a particular  computer
    system has been used for committing a crime or not," he added. 
       An audit-trial is a method of checking what computer system has been 
    used. Peepaphan added there are some software programs that can analyze 
    the history of the files used in a particular system and tell which 
    keystrokes have been made. This software can also be used in computer 
    crime investigations. In addition, the police can ask for assistance  from
    local Internet service providers to monitor the Internet use  records of
    users suspected of organizing a crime. 
       Many businessmen consider that the possibility of computer crime is a 
    factor stopping them doing electronic commerce on the network. 
       Peeraphan explained that even though the country does not have a 
    specific law for computer crime at the moment, the law enforcement 
    authorities can adapt the country's criminal law in computer crime  cases.
    Nevertheless, he said the country will have to enact a special  law for
    this new type of crime in the near future. 
       Reported by Newsbytes News Network http://www.newsbytes.com 
    Subscribe: mail majordomot_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Dimensional Communications (www.dim.com)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 12:50:44 PDT