Saturday, September 22, 2007

Is the Internet a Prosecution-Free Zone?

Jörg Ziercke, the chief of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) in Germany, was quoted in a
press release on the BFK website, following a simultaneous phishing raid in Bad Homburg, Düsseldorf, Köln, Frankfurt and Elmshorn. His words lay down an interesting challenge:

"This case shows once more: Criminal organizations are increasingly using the Internet in order to make enormous profits with an allegedly low risk of discovery." He said that prosecutors are constantly facing new challenges regarding Cyber Crime, but that "the Internet cannot develop into a prosecution-free zone."

That's exactly what's at risk. We have to decide whether the Internet is going to be patrolled and prosecuted just like the streets and alleys of our cities, or whether we are going to allow crime to occur unabated there.

In the BKA case, two women, aged 22 and 23, and six men, aged from 20 to 36 years old, have been imprisoned pending their court appearance. Two others are also charged but were not taken into custody.

Sounds good, and congratulations to the BKA! But what about all the other phishers? So far in September, we've made positive confirmation on more than THREE THOUSAND phishing sites in UAB's Computer Forensics Research lab. We can't continue to allow it to take 18 months before a phishing investigation leads to charges.

The more evidence we gather, and the more relationships we find between phishing campaigns, the greater the chance that we can get some law enforcement action.

Remember, if you hear of someone who has been a victim of Identity Theft, Phishing, or any other Cyber Crime, please make sure they fill out a complaint at the Internet Crime and Complaint Center,

Also, if there has not been a financial loss, phishing sites still need to be reported! When you receive a phishing email, please help by sending it to:

or by using the webform at:

Let's make sure the Internet doesn't become a "Prosecution-Free Zone".

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