Officers Learn How To Fight Cyber Crime - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/10/05

Officers Learn How To Fight Cyber Crime

Meet the new generation of criminal investigators.

"Cyber crime is something that's in a revolution now and we're training cyber investigators," says Dr. Tom Payne, an Associate Professor with the University of Southern Mississippi's Administration of Justice Department.

This intensive five day class is designed to give students and law enforcement officials the weapons they'll need to patrol today's crime infested cyber streets.

"Just about anything you can do out in the real world, you can do on the Internet," says student Brock Newell.

Those crimes include property and identity theft, financial fraud, sex crimes, drug deals, and even murder for hire.

"There's a lot of tools out there for the bad guys, unfortunately," says Rick Stephens, an Investigative Computer Specialist with the U.S. Navy's Criminal Investigative Service. "It's a great resource, but it gets misused."

Biloxi P.D.Cyber Crime Investigator Donnie Dobbs says like other forms of criminal activity, vigilance and education are a good first line of defense.

"We just have to be mindful of it, and be aware that criminals are taking advantage of that," says Dobbs. "They just see it as another opportunity."

It's up to these front line enforcers to track and catch the unseen criminals, using the same weapons and the same computer savvy they do.

"Job security is there," says Stephens. "There's more of them than there are of us and they keep growing and learning. And we're playing catch up, unfortunately, a lot of time. But then again, we win a lot."

It's a deadly serious game they intend to win even more frequently, in the dark and dangerous neighborhoods of cyber space.

by Don Culpepper

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