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[FYI] (Fwd) Interpol Patrols theWeb
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Date sent: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 17:24:27 -0700
From: David Banisar <email@example.com>
Subject: Interpol Patrols theWeb
To: Global Internet Liberty Campaign <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Friday, 30 June, 2000, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Interpol patrols the web
By BBC News Online internet reporter Mark Ward
Interpol is considering setting up an international intelligence
network to help companies and governments cope with the rising tide of
The international police organisation already collects and
distributes information about cross-border crime such as art thefts
and is now expanding this to include cybercrime.
Interpol is working with an internet consultancy Atomic Tangerine to
set up the network that will pass on information about online criminal
The network should be in place by October.
Atomic Tangerine is an offshoot of the Stanford Research Institute
(SRI), a Californian think-tank that has done some of the pioneering
research on computers.
Seeds of help
SRI looks after a huge library of information about computer security.
For decades, it has acted as host for closed-door conferences for
companies where they can reveal if they have been targeted by hackers.
If we waited until the laws were adopted we would wait a long, long
Raymond Kendall, Interpol The first six months of the year have seen a
rash of computer crimes committed.
In February, popular websites such as Yahoo and Amazon were briefly
shut down when they were hit with a flood of bogus messages.
In May, companies around the world were hit by the ILOVEYOU virus.
Since then, many companies have been caught out by viruses that copied
the Love Bug.
Some companies have had their websites hijacked and ownership of the
domain temporarily transferred to someone else.
Raymond Kendall, general secretary of Interpol, said both governments
and companies were in danger of being overwhelmed by cybercrime unless
they acted in concert.
He said many of the 178 member nations of Interpol were starting to
draw up legislation to outlaw cybercrime but businesses and
governments now needed help.
"If we waited until the laws were adopted, we would wait a long, long
time," said Mr Kendall, "Unless we have the courage to step outside
the usual run of the mill responses we will not achieve anything."
Less than 15 of the Interpol member nations currently have laws in
place that criminalise malicious hacking or the spreading of
Although the writers of the Love Bug virus were arrested in the
Philippines the country had no laws under which to charge them.
This week Onel De Guzman, suspected of writing the ILOVEYOU virus was
formally charged. He was indicted under credit card theft laws.
The Philippines has now adopted laws making it illegal to do damage
with viruses and malicious hacking.
Kendall: We're all struggling to keep up with cybercrime
Mr Kendall pointed out that negotiations are at an early stage and
both Interpol and Atomic Tangerine had yet to work out the details of
the intelligence gathering network.
Once operational, the network will keep companies, law enforcement
agencies and governments informed about cybercrimes and who is
becoming a target for malicious hackers.
Information will be collected from everyone that signs up and will be
funnelled through Interpol.
Denial of service
"Not because we need to identify the companies, but because we are
interested in the modus operandi of the criminals and the incidence of
what is happening," said Mr Kendall.
The initiative has grown out of the work that the SRI, parent of
Atomic Tangerine, has done on software that automatically watches the
web for information about impending attacks.
The SRI system, which goes by the name of Net Radar, scours the web
for information about which companies or technologies are being
targeted, which backdoors in software are becoming popular and which
tricks are becoming fashionable among hackers.
In the past, the Net Radar system has passed on warnings about
Pakistani ISPs which were being targeted by hackers looking to launch
distributed denial of service attacks.
In such attacks, hackers hide programs on machines dotted around the
web which, at a pre-arranged moment, start flooding a target with
bogus requests for information.
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