http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/1827902p-1905974c.html 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 espionage. 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 - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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