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June 27, 2009

Cybercrime on the rise

This is a quote from an article prepared by the law office of Howard Snader and appearing on

"Cybercrime is on the rise. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reports that cybercrime increased in 2008. Moreover, IC3 reports that from February to March 2009 there was an additional 50 percent increase in reported Internet fraud complaints. With this increase, law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement efforts and offenders face steep penalties for conviction.

Federal officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), which are responsible for investigating and prosecuting cybercrime, are increasing efforts to find and punish alleged perpetrators of Internet fraud and other computer crimes such as hacking and phishing. These agencies, along with the US Postal Inspection Service and US Secret Service are aggressively prosecuting data breaches in which hackers steal large amounts of personal information from financial institutions, government agencies, credit card companies and other businesses.

In fact, between 2004 and 2008, there was a 138 percent increase in identity theft convictions by United States Attorneys. In addition, fighting computer crime is a priority for the new administration. President Obama recently announced that he would appoint a cybersecurity czar who would be tasked with overseeing the fight against cybercrime.State and local law enforcement agencies are also ramping up efforts to prosecute cybercriminals.

The Arizona Attorney General has a computer crimes unit that is dedicated to fighting crimes involving technology. Further, many local police departments have developed and improved strategies for tracking computer crimes. For example, the Phoenix Police Department has a Document Crimes Detail that investigates identity theft, phishing and other Internet scams."

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