[ISN] Feds step up cybercrime battle in Fresno

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 11 2002 - 22:39:56 PST

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    By Jerry Bier
    The Fresno Bee
    (Published Monday, March, 11, 2002 4:35AM)
    Computer crimes, which have become a common occurrence in today's
    increasingly technological world, are getting special attention from
    the federal government.
    The crimes, which range from viruses to piracy, have cropped up in
    prosecutions across the United States and are becoming more prevalent
    as computers become more a part of everyday lives.
    As a result of the changing times, U.S. Attorney John K. Vincent said
    he has formed a computer-crimes section to concentrate on what he
    calls high-technology and intellectual-property offenses.
    "We have been focusing on cybercrime for some time now," Vincent said.  
    "It is an area of growing concern, however, and we intend to attack it
    even more aggressively."
    In Fresno, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan B. Conklin will head the
    effort, joining Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sonderby in the
    Eastern District's Sacramento division.
    "These prosecutors, because of their training and experience, bring a
    high degree of expertise and professionalism to the computers-crimes
    section, and they are dedicated to vigorously prosecuting those
    responsible for cybercrime in the district," Vincent said.
    Conklin's prosecutions have included Internet fraud and computer
    intrusion cases, including several in which individuals hacked into
    computer systems of businesses and intentionally destroyed files. He
    also prosecuted a copyright case involving misuse of Microsoft
    software products.
    "We hope it will be an effective presence in the Valley," Conklin said
    of the new section.
    The section will handle crimes such as computer intrusions, virus and
    worm proliferation, Internet fraud and telecommunications fraud,
    Vincent said. It also will prosecute the so-called
    intellectual-property offenses such as copyright and trademark
    infringement, software piracy, theft of trade secrets and economic
    A virus is a program or piece of code that is loaded onto a computer
    without the owner's knowledge and runs against his or her wishes. A
    worm is a program or algorithm that replicates itself over a computer
    network and usually performs malicious actions.
    The prosecution team also will work with the high-tech community to
    encourage victims to report crimes to law enforcement, Vincent said,
    noting that California's Eastern District, which stretches from the
    Oregon border through Kern County, is home to numerous high-tech
    companies, universities and military bases and has become a popular
    target for cybercriminals.
    Prosecutors also will be responsible for providing training programs
    to increase expertise among federal, state and local law enforcement,
    Vincent said.
    The reporter can be reached at jbierat_private or (559) 441-6484
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