Electronic crime in Wales has increased so much over the past year, almost tripling in size, that it now has reached the point of threatening national security says police. A task force formed from the four Welsh police forces, e-Crime Wales, has release statistics that estimate a cost of £974m in 2010 up over £600m form the previous year.
The international nature of the crime makes it impossible to just look at the Welsh figures since they are only a piece of the large sinister pie that is causing this multi million pound cost.
e-crime officer Karen Burch has said that the only crime is not financial the true IT scams want to take remote control of your computer. Because the ultimate goal is to establish a bot net of domestic computers that could eventually be used against the UK for cyber-terrorism.
Things such as power grids, railways, roads and utilities are all controlled by computers and would be a great target for any person that would want to do the country harm. As we approach the 2012 Olympics we need to have at the forefront of our minds the dangers that are imposed by a possible attack against our infrastructure and the long and profound disruption it could cause.
One scam in particular that all should be aware of is the Microsoft cold call fraud. The criminal gangs call someone claiming to be investigating crimes of piracy or breaches of important security on behalf of Microsoft. During the calls they use pressure tactics that encourage through fear the authority to remotely access the person’s computer. Once that is accomplished they install spyware and begin to steal passwords.