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International laws inadequate for fighting Internet criminals

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April 19, 2006

According to various research, almost 73 percent of Internet security experts believe that international laws are totally inadequate for the fight against cyber and Internet criminals. The delegates at The 2006 eCrime Congress in London strongly believe there is insufficient international legislation in place to tackle the growing threats of phishing, denial of service attacks (DoS) and various computer hacking activities.

The 109 respondents from twenty countries named lack of global co-operation and inadequate police resources as the main reasons why cyber criminals are not being prosecuted.

About 61 per cent of delegates said that current legislation is unenforceable in most countries.

‘It becomes difficult with jurisdictions and making prosecutions because there are no geographical boundaries on the internet,’ said Mark Murtagh, European technical director at Websense, the IT security firm that conducted the research.

‘It is a problem that is not going to change anytime soon. Criminal acts that are affecting people in the UK are often being carried out in countries where governments are not co-operating,’ he said.

Sixty-four per cent of IT security professionals believe that stronger legislation, such as the Council of Europe’s cyber crime convention, will improve how hackers, virus writers and extortionists are prosecuted internationally.

Clive Longbottom, service director at analyst Quocirca, says governments should agree to a set of rules and strictly adhere to them.

‘If the countries do not sign up they should be cut off from the internet. But unfortunately governments will never go with that approach because they do not like working together,’ he said.

As well as greater police resourcing and government legislation, technology vendors need to do more to remove security vulnerabilities from products, which can be exploited by criminals.

‘You are never going to be able to keep ahead of the brilliance of some of the criminals out there, but there are steps that can be taken to close some of them down,’ said Longbottom.

Source: Vnunet

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