Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Australian agency preparing for rise in cyber crime

The rise of cloud computing has added new responsibilities to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC)—the country’s national criminal intelligence agency. According to the agency, there appears to be virtually limitless opportunities for organised crime to “go virtual”. John Lawler, Chief Executive of ACC, told FutureGov Asia Pacific that while the cloud offers numerous benefits, there are “significant vulnerabilities” with the technology that could lead to exploitation by organised crime.

“If we know anything about organised crime networks it is that they see this [cloud computing] and any future technological change as being ripe with the potential for profit,” said Lawler. “We know this because history tells us that the growth of organised crime has mirrored the growth of a more globalised world.” Lawler’s cloud computing concerns stem from the technology’s mobility of data—the information that people provide when they make a purchase, sign up for memberships, answer surveys and join competitions is now raw material for economic activity. Lawler explained: “This information can be analysed, augmented, used, sold or rented—not just locally but globally and with tremendous speed.”

For ACC, the data held in cloud computing is “vulnerable to exploitations by both individual hackers and organised crime groups seeking to collect and sell these information”. To deal with this potential threat, Lawler said that among ACC’s many approach is a focus on the common motivator for all organised crime: profit. “We need to continuously question our methods and approaches and ask if they remain viable in a virtual world. We need to ask whether we have the appropriate skill sets to tackle a new paradigm of organised crime,” he said. “And if not, how do we go about gaining those skills.”



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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