Cyber criminals not ‘technically gifted’: QLD Police

Focus must shift from technology to behaviour

Understanding what drives individuals to commit acts of cyber crime, rather than focusing on technology, has become essential according to Queensland Police.

Speaking at the World Computer Congress, Queensland Police online crime law enforcement unit detective superintendent, Brian Hay, said understanding why people committed acts of online crime was more important than getting caught up in their misuse of technology.

“Malware is on the rise, and we need to ask ourselves if we are focusing too much on the technology of cyber crime instead of the behavioural patterns behind it,” he said. “There is a skill set associated with cyber crime that creates bigger crime groups and brings more people into the fold.”

Hay said online communities, particularly the use of forums and social media tools such as Twitter, were helping fuel the fire of cyber crime.

"What amazes me is the the number and variety of forums and just how much information is out there," he said. "They are surpassing us in their ability to operate and their ability to get new intelligence. I expect that they will make law enforcement difficult for us and that I will become a target.

"There are forums out there on how to commit identity theft, and cyber criminals have their own webpages. You have to ask, is the greatest threat your technical expert, or your social networking expert?"

Hay said he has seen a number of cyber crime cases to date, with offenders generally not fitting the profile of technically savvy hackers.

“You don’t have to be technically gifted to be a cyber criminal,” he said. “We caught one guy who went onto eBay and tried to sell 3000 live credit cards that were stolen. He was a nobody who simply put these on the internet – we’re not dealing with mental geniuses.”

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Tags cybercrimemalwaresoftwareQueensland policeWorld computing congress 2010

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