[ISN] Police to beef up tech crime team

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Apr 05 2002 - 00:34:21 PST

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    Fri, 05 Apr 2002
    THE Royal Malaysian Police has put forth a proposal to beef up its
    technology crime investigation (TCI) team under the commercial crime
    division to be better prepared when handling information and
    communications technology (ICT)-related criminal cases.
    Under the proposal, the police expects to grow the current six-man
    team to a staff strength of 21 early next year at the latest. TCI's
    chief inspector Mahfuz Ab Majid told Computimes in Petaling Jaya that
    the increase in manpower is required to carry out the necessary
    research on info-security trends and issues as well as investigative
    duties which are part and parcel of police work.
    "Research is integral to this type of unit. We have to compile a lot
    of research on things happening inside and outside (the country) to
    safeguard the public against such crimes," he said.
    According to Mahfuz, although the number of reported ICT-related
    criminal cases so far has been few and are often "prankster-type"  
    electronic mail (e-mail) abuse, the police expects more serious crimes
    to be reported when ICT users become more knowledgeable and confident.
    "At present, the types of cases reported include hacking, e-mail
    abuse, illegal online pyramid schemes, distribution of pirated
    software and intent fraud. While the current trend points to mischief
    making, it is only a matter of time such crimes escalate to more
    serious crimes such as espionage," he said, adding that the
    development in electronic commerce (e-commerce) warrants new
    approaches in forensics, investigation and prosecution.
    Commenting on court proceedings, Mahfuz said many reports are not
    pursued and are often withdrawn by complainants as no serious
    financial loss was experienced.
    "However, the whole legal process must be up to speed to be able to
    deal with cases involving the breach of info-security. And this not
    only involves the efficiency of the police, but also the prosecution
    and the judiciary. The whole system is preparing to bring this type of
    cases to court using cyberlaws," he said. "Previously, we brought this
    type of cases to court using the older acts. However, we need to be
    constantly reviewing the laws so as to cover new technology."
    On the part of the police, Mahfuz said the TCI team is working towards
    encouraging and assisting officers on the ground to open ICT-related
    "The workload in commercial crime, which includes computer crime, is
    heavy and Bukit Aman may be unable to cover the whole country
    efficiently. As the Bukit Aman personnel are trained constantly at an
    in-depth level and have connections with technology providers such as
    TMnet and Jaring, we will try to assist them at all levels in opening
    simpler cases."
    For more hi-tech cases, the Kuala Lumpur team is more equipped as it
    has people who can provide support technically and knowledge-wise, he
    Mahfuz said the police is also working with its counterparts in other
    countries to combat ICT-related crimes.
    "The National Police of Japan has a database especially on hi-tech
    crimes, to which we are linked. We can access the database directly
    and give feedback to them as well as share knowledge," he said, adding
    that there are 10 countries in Asean and Asia which have links to the
    "The database is crucial as it allows users to recognise the same
    problem, the same people or the same methods being used in particular
    cases," he said.
    Earlier, Mahfuz gave a talk on the enforcement of cyberlaws at the
    E-security Seminar organised by the Malaysian Communications and
    Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
    MCMC's chairman Tan Sri Nuraizah Abdul Hamid had earlier launched the
    seminar, which was part of a series of campaigns to create awareness
    on info-security threats to the general public.
    "Our intention is long term. We want to generate the awareness and
    make sure people are conscious that they also are subject to hacking
    and virus attacks. What happens to the personal computer can affect
    the whole system and each user should know his or her responsibility
    to safeguard against such incidents. With less happenings, there will
    be less damage," said Nuraizah.
    MCMC, with partners like the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation
    and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), the Association of the Computer
    and Multimedia Industry of Malaysia (Pikom) and the police, plan to go
    to cities where ICT usage is high.
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