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DOJ Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section

The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property

The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property

 

The Department of Justice developed the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as a means to stop and prevent computer crimes from occurring and to maintain cyber security. Some computer crimes that the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) provide cyber security to prevent from occurring include the following: information theft, cyber attacks or information warfare, and unauthorized entries into classified accounts.

The CCIPS works together with attorneys, computer forensic experts, and law enforcement officials to eliminate these crimes and to protect intellectual property. They are also dedicated to training anyone interested in combating computer crime through cyber security.

The CCIPS also provides information on proper cyber ethics regarding child safety online. Cyber ethics can be described simply as what type of online behavior is appropriate, while helping to keep potential victims (namely children) out of harm's way.

The cyber ethics provided by the CCIPS are split into three main categories: Cyber ethics for Parents and Educators, Cyber ethics for Kids, and Cyber ethics websites. The cyber ethics for parents and educators include ways to teach children about online safety and how they should protect themselves against online predators. Cyber ethics for kids is meant to directly guide children in the right direction as far as online conduct is concerned. The cyber ethics website is merely a list of websites that will have more information or studies regarding online predators.

One of the main purposes of the CCIPS is to instill cyber security in order to protect the Government or anyone else from falling victim to a computer crime or security breach. The National Cyber Security Alliance was also formed along with the CCIPS in order to help protect online information. The National Cyber Security Alliance also promotes a website known as staysafeonline.com that helps offer tips to anyone with questions regarding internet security and protection.

 

What are Some Past Attacks on Government Computers?

What are Some Past Attacks on Government Computers?

There have been several major breaches in security systems meant to protect governmental computers. There have also been several reported cases of successful attacks on Government computers.
 
 
Prior to the South Ossetia War in 2008, attacks aginst Georgia's government websites were carried out with a message of peace that would be read in text, but then disable the websites’ functions causing servers to shut down completely.
 
 
Cyberterrorist attacks were carried out from Romania, when reports showed that the terrorists illegally infiltrated a government-controlled system where scientists in Antarctica were stationed. They were attempting to shut down support systems endangering the lives of fifty-eight scientists. 
 
 
        
In 2007, a Eurasian Youth Group utilized a cyber attack on Ukrainian President Vicktor Yushchenko. One of the largest cyber attacks was committed in Estonia when a large number of denial of services attacks were launched against government-run websites. Many speculated that the attacks were carried out in protest against a war memorial that had been taken down in Talinn.    
 
 
     
Reports say that in 1991 a virus was invented that was meant to shut down Iraqi's anti-aircraft gunfire. Cyber attacks launched on South Korea and the United States in 2009 were believed to be from North Korea, but further investigation revealed that they actually came from someone in the United Kingdom.
 
 
The United States reported that, as a result of cyber attacks and other computer problems, the Government had to spend over one hundred million dollars to repair the damages.  Since then, the United States has been working to increase cyber security measures to lessen the chance of a cyber security breach.

Famous Past Attacks on Government Computers

Famous Past Attacks on Government Computers

In the past, some of the most popular targets of computer hacking have been government-run websites and government computers. The main computer hacking attacks that have targeted government computers have involved launching denial of service attacks against government computers. These attacks on government resources involve using a hacked computer to continually request information from a government website.
 
 
The hope is that by using these hacked computers to launch a denial of service attack against a government website, the computer which is responsible for running the government website and storing the information will crash. The hope is that if enough websites are hacked, then eventually an important part of the government mainframe will be taken down, which could allow computer hacking experts seeking to do harm to access important information.
 
 
The government has been a popular target of computer hacking efforts for as long as computer hacking has existed. In fact, the 1983 Matthew Broderick movie, War Games, demonstrated some of the possible consequences of computer hacking targeting a government computer, when Matthew Broderick's character accidentally hacked into a government computer and nearly initiated a thermonuclear war between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As far as can be determined, however, no actual computer hacking has hacked so far into the government computer system in reality.
 
 
In recent years, there have either been an increase in computer hacking attempts targeting the Government of the United States of America, or else it has become more difficult for the Government of the United States of America to conceal when it has been successfully hacked. One of the more recent reports of a time the Government was successfully hacked came in July 2009.
 
 
At the beginning of July 2009, a computer hacking attack was unleashed which affected the website of the White House, but that also hacked the websites of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as of the Washington Post. Although this computer hacking attack only incapacitated these websites for a short period of time, the fact that these sites were hacked at all revealed flaws and vulnerabilities in these sites being hacked.
 
 
The blame for this computer hacking attack was laid at the feet of computer hacking efforts based in North Korea. However, some officials believed that the hacked websites were hacked by computer hacking efforts that did not appear to have been as sophisticated as computer hacking standards that were expected by computer hacking experts.
 
 
In addition, when computer hacking efforts have hacked government computers, they have become increasingly successful in getting information from their computer hacking. In addition, it appears that the Government of the United States of America has ceased to be the most popular target for computer hacking efforts. The government that has become the primary hacked government is the Chinese government.

The Potential Areas of Abuse of Computer Crime

The Potential Areas of Abuse of Computer Crime

What areas of abuse are often endured as a result of computer crime being perpetrated against the Government's computer network, which lacks the necessary network security to repel them? Most records contained on a computer (no matter how upscale the network security is) always hold the possibility of being hacked into or abused. So it is possible that classified records and/or documents have the chance of being tampered with. And although network security is pretty tight, sophisticated viruses can make their way into a network causing damages, data loss, stolen information, or cause a system to malfunction and/or shut down completely.
 
 
One of President Barack Obama's main concerns was the threat of the computer crime of information warfare being committed against the U.S. Government's computer system. The United State Government's computers are constantly targeted for computer crime by many entities.
 
 
On several occasions, China was reported to be making several efforts in an attempt to hack into the U.S. Government's computer system using hackers and a cyber spy ring known as "ghostnet". As a way to combat such threats, President Obama, in hopes of increasing America's network security, appointed a cyber security tsar by the name of Howard Schmidt (former Microsoft and eBay executive who also served under President George W. Bush) along with a cyber security office to report to National Security in the case of a breach to the Government's network security.
 
 
As the risk of abuse against Government computers increased, the Government felt that it must take aggressive action in order to prevent these intrusions (i.e. hacking, viruses, worms, information warfare, denial of services attacks, etc.). In 1984, the U.S. Congress officially created an Act known as "The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" (CFAA). This Act helped to enforce the laws and to prevent computer intrusions as: fraud, hacking/tampering, data theft, and computer bugs being intentionally released. This Act also stood as a means to penalize those who wish to commit such violations or computer crime.
 
 
The CFAA makes considerable efforts for protecting Government-owned computers and computers used in financial businesses. They also pay particular attention to computer crime that involves tampering with a computer that is used in dealing with foreign affairs, in an effort to protect the country's classified information and to help increase network security. The U.S. Patriot Act helped to amend the CFAA several times, as well as the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act modified it in 2008.

Must Know Facts on Computer Crimes

Must Know Facts on Computer Crimes

Federal Government and Computer Crime
The Federal Government of the United States of America is one of the most popular targets of computer hacking crimes and is at or near the top of the annual list of most common targets of computer crime organizations. The Federal Government is such a popular target for hackers because the Federal Government of the United States of America has the personal information of every American in its computer systems.
The wealth of information contained in the Federal Government mainframe presents a very tempting target for a hacker, whether the intent of their computer is to obtain the information in the Federal mainframe for nefarious purposes or if the computer hacker is only trying to determine if their computer hacking skills are sufficient to hack into a well-encrypted system.
The computers of the Federal Government present a serious challenge to a computer hacker because the Federal computer system contains some of the most advanced encryption measures. As a result, the Federal Government organization designed with maintaining the security of the web systems are in an ever-escalating war with cyber hackers who engage in terrorism to attempt to force their way into the Federal network. This conflict only occasionally results in computer crime charges being filed against the individuals who are engaged in these computer crimes.
Part of the difficulties encountered by the Federal Government of the United States when attempting to press charges include difficulties in identifying the individuals who have hacked the computer system, as well as difficulties in establishing jurisdiction over the computer hacker in the event that the computer hacker has been identified.
Background
The Federal Government has had numerous reports of computer crimes committed both against the Government and American citizens. As the number of computer crimes increase more and more every year, the Government works hard to combat these crimes and to put a mass amount of effort into creating new ways to increase network security.
Certain computer crimes violate Federal and State laws according to the criminal codes and statutes that are created and provided by the Federal Government and other jurisdictions. The Government and FBI will get involved when an infraction occurs against a Federal Code while someone is using their computer. The United States Attorney’s Office will most likely become involved if the computer crime is committed on a Government-owned computer or against the Government’s network system.
One of the most common forms of computer attacks against the Government comes in the guise of an information warfare attack or a denial of services attack. These attacks are set out against the Government in order to collect classified information, as a means to exploit, as a form of spying against the Government, or to create real world destruction to the country and its Government.
Anxieties Over Hacking Government Mainframes
Cyberterrorism is one of the country’s biggest threats and it is executed when criminals trespass into the Government’s computer network as a means to illegally gather information, and to not only cause chaos within the Government’s computers, but also to cause damages in the physical world. Cyberterrorism can be committed when a terrorist attempts to cause network interference on Government computers, which will result in technical errors that disallow simple functions to be performed that would normally be easily carried out. This then causes serious security and safety issues.
For example, scientists were stationed in Antarctica at a specialized facility when a cyberterrorist attempted to shut down their support system, bringing potential harm to the scientists and their life functions. Cyberterrorists can do this by physically hacking into the Government’s mainframe and disrupting networks or by using harmful bugs that will impair the computers using malicious codes.
Cyberterrorism can also bring harm to the country’s economy. Many times, cyberterrorism is closely linked with denial of services attacks and information warfare. These attacks involve computers, obtaining information, and causing harm using the computer as a tool to do so.
Past Attacks on Government Computers
There have been several reported cases of attacks on government computers. One example occurred in 2009 during Iran’s election protests. Foreign activists decided to launch a denial of services attack on Iran’s government during this event. It was reported multiple times that the government’s website was deemed unusable.
Since the United States has come under fire for such cyber attacks, the government has reported that it has had to pay over one hundred million dollars to repair the destruction.  As a result, the country has been working tirelessly to create new forms of cyber security measures to lessen the chance of a cyber security breach.
Obama and Internet Security
The FBI and Government’s main priorities in stopping computer crime are: to prevent the spread of malicious code, sexual predators, illegal hacking, and to prevent information warfare against both the Government and the public. The FBI and the United States Government joined forces to establish organizations known as:  the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), the Internet Crime and Complaint Center (ICCC), the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (NSSC), Federal Computer Intrusion Laws, Cyber Crime Law(s), and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The Government also uses their own Government computers as a means to track criminals that they feel violate Federal laws.
One of President Barack Obama’s main concerns was the threat of cyberterrorism against the United States. The President took action by appointing a cyber security tsar (Howard Schmidt) and created a cyber security office located within the White House. The cyber security office reports to the National Security Office in an effort to combat cyber threats against the country.
Potential Areas of Abuse
Hacking, viruses, worms, information warfare, and denial of services attacks are some potential forms of abuse that threaten the United States Government and the country. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was created in 1984 by the United States Congress. This Act helped to enforce the laws and to prevent computer crimes. It has existed as a means to bring justice to those who wish to commit such violations as computer crimes.
The CFAA takes serious action against those who commit crimes against Government-owned computers, computers used in financial businesses,  or a computer crime that involves tampering with a computer that is used in dealing with foreign entities due to the threat that it poses on national security.

All About Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property

All About Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property

Despite recent changes in cyber law and the enforcement of cyber law provided by the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, there seems to be an increase in Computer crimes. Recent news suggests that the Computer Crime and Intellectual Studies have reported approximately thirty indictments in Internet crime cases within this year alone. The most common forms of Internet crimes committed in these cases include cyber criminals violating cyber law by committing the act of computer fraud.

One of the most recent cases of Internet crime and cyber law involves a resident of California by the name of David Rigmaiden. David Rigmaiden (a self-described computer hacker) committed tax fraud that would have resulted in cheating the Government out of millions of dollars. One of David Rigmaiden’s tactics for Internet crime included using the computer as a means to gather names of the deceased and then using their names for tax information as a means to commit fraud.

David Rigmaiden was charged with multiple counts of Internet crimes including thirty-five counts of computer fraud, thirty-five counts of identity theft, a conspiracy charge, two counts of mail fraud, and one charge of attempting to access a computer without authorization.

Another recent news story concentrated on one of the most prevalent computer crime cases in America. This case is concerning Albert Gonzalez (also known as the TJX hacker) and his group of cyber criminals who managed to obtain approximately ninety million credit and debit card numbers in absolute violation of cyber law. The damage caused by the use of these numbers amounted to about $200 million in losses. He was sentenced to fifteen to twenty-five years in prison.

The Internet Crime and Complaint Center (ICCC) was formed by the FBI in conjunction with the National White Collar Crime Center. The ICCC tries to enforce cyber law by helping collect complaints of Internet crimes. They reported that between the years of 2008 and 2009, the number of fraud complaints increased by nearly twenty-two percent and there was a total of 336,655 complaints filed. The total financial loss between these years added up to be about $265 million. Contact an intellectual property lawyer to acquire legal advice and assistance.

Facts About Search and Seizure of Digital Evidence

Facts About Search and Seizure of Digital Evidence

When computer crimes are committed, law officials work hard to obtain rights that will allow them to search and seize digital evidence necessary for the prosecution of cyber crime. They look for evidence that will allow computer forensic experts to collect the information needed in order to execute a proper arrest against the perpetrators of the computer crimes. There are two basic methods of committing a search and seizure of digital evidence in order to prove a case in a cyber crime: one with a warrant, and one without a warrant.
 
 
Law enforcement agents pursuing a case of cyber crime may exercise certain rights under Chapter One of the Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution when they perform a warrantless search in order to achieve an arrest in a cyber crime. However, it can be argued that other provisions in Chapter One of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution may also say that a warrant may not be necessary when performing a search and seizure of possessions if the evidence is within a company or government computer.
 
 
However, certain limitations and statutes will probably be exercised upon a warrantless search and seizure. One of the only times a warrantless search and seizure of digital evidence may be fully performed is if the suspect in question has released permission of the use of the equipment/evidence to a third party.
 
 
Depending on the types of computer crimes, a warrant can sometimes be obtained rather easily. For example, if there is strong evidence supporting that the computer crimes were committed and the suspect's computer contains harmful contraband (i.e. child pornography) that might endanger someone's life, then this would be a considerable reason for a warrant to be issued. If there is strong evidence of computer crimes committed that were committed utilizing a computer that may contain evidence supporting drug deals or the production of illegal materials (i.e. unauthorized duplications of copyrighted materials), this may be another reason for a warrant to be issued.
 
 
Once probable cause is established along with a game plan of what specific evidence needs to be captured from the computer(s), it will become much more simple for law officials to draft a warrant and perform a search and seizure of digital evidence in order to prosecute the cyber crime in question.