The Fight Against Computer Crime

Computer technology has attracted its fair share of criminal activities from those looking to exploit and capitalise on people’s reliance on the computer to run their daily lives. After all, author Jolly John singled Singapore out for being ‘the most network-ready country’, signifying both our dependence on new-age technology and the capabilities of the talent we have. However, there are dire consequences to be dealt with should the intentions of those with the ability to manipulate the systems deviate to malice.

In their efforts to safeguard against computer crime, the Singapore Government has set up various measures through a multi-pronged approach. The first step is to keep up governing laws with the fast changing developments of technology and the opportunities for dismeanour it presents by passing new legislation. Singapore passed the Computer Misuse Act in 1993, which has since been amended four times.

The Computer Misuse Act punishes perpetrators of computer crime, rather than cyber crime. Computer crime refers to crimes against a computer through acts that attack a computer system. The Act covers unauthorised access to a computer, or computer material without authorisation, modifying the contents of a computer without authorisation, obtaining or intercepting any computer service or function, interfering with or obstructing the lawful use of a computer, impeding or preventing access to or impairing the usefulness or effectiveness of any computer program or data, or disclosing a password, access code, or other means of gaining access to a program or data. To take just the first example, any person who uses a computer to secure access to another computer without authorization shall be guilty of an offence.

On the other hand, the existing Penal Code governs cyber crime, which is traditional crime like fraud, theft or extortion abetted through the computer. As opposed to carrying out crime against a computer, perpetrators carry out their illegal acts through the computer.

Through the Computer Misuse Act, the law punishes and deters computer criminals by meting out harsh penalties including imprisonment and fines. Crimes targeting the bedrock of our nation’s critical industries like banking and finance, communications or transportation and public services warrants the harshest punishment – a fine up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 20 years. It is also noteworthy that a Court can order compensation to be paid by the offender for any damage that is caused, and such compensation which is ordered does not prevent or restrict a civil claim for damages which exceeds the compensation amount.

The next step it has taken is to set up agencies that ensure the enforcement of these laws. These specialised agencies include the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team, Computer Crimes Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Computer Forensics Branch of the Singapore Police.

Operated by professionally-trained tech experts, they can exercise their power with extra-territorial jurisdiction. They are trained in all aspects of computer investigation, one of which is the emerging field of computer forensics. This intricate process of investigation enables the retrieval of consequential data from computers, computer networks, data storage media and related equipment that may contain evidence which can be presented in court. They first analyse the data and meticulously document and preserve the evidence to be presented before court. This operation requires highly trained professionals as it involves delicate procedures where a single wrong move can destroy or modify the evidence.

If one suspects a breach but don’t want to bring it directly to the authorities, there is the option of approaching private forensic investigators like Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC). Due to the increase in violations of the Computer Misuse Act, ADRC has set up a forensic investigation department to deal with the influx of such investigative requests.

With more than 10 years of experience in the data recovery market, ADRC is well equipped with certified computer forensic experts who are capable of securing and documenting digital evidence with full audit trail suitable for court submission and performing data recovery under all adverse situations. They also have their own class 100 clean laboratory. Without having to move evidence around, this minimizes the risk of evidence being contaminated.
Computer users should also adopt preventive measures to safeguard their computers against computer crime, which is a very real threat that has the potential to be even more damaging given our reliance on computers these days.
Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC) Pte Ltd is South East Asia’s leading data recovery centre equipped with the first Class 100 clean laboratory in Singapore. It has an un-paralleled capability and the setup to acquire and collect the digital evidence from all kinds of working or damaged media while observing the strictest process of computer forensic investigation.

The team of qualified forensic experts is able to provide court-ready reporting of digital evidence for civil and criminal litigation through the installation of rigorous forensic methodologies in order to identify, acquire, preserve, analyze and document digital data (electronically stored information) for use as evidence in court or other legal or administrative proceedings.

It’s Not Against The Law!

You need to know the importance of having Identity Thief Protection because of no awareness; potential cases and victims have no support. “On May 10 2006, President Bush signed an Executive Order creating the nation’s first ever Identity Theft Task Force. The goals of the Task Force are to develop a strategic plan to better prevent identity theft, coordinate prosecution, and ensure recovery for victims…”- Federal Trade Commission.

I honestly think that it’s about time that the spotlight has turned on to the awareness of these growing cowardly acts of crime that is taking North America by storm. It’s alarming to think that you could be the next person surprised about being a victim saying “how could this happen me” and you will be upset because you lost your life’s savings or you hear that your credit cards are maxed out due to a criminal digging for financial information in your garbage, some how duplicate your cards and started buying products from EBay. That’s why the importance of having knowledge of Identity Thief just can’t be stress enough. This article will explain why having Identity Thief Protection Will increase awareness, prevent cases, and support victims.

Christmas Holidays where it’s all about Family, Friends, Food and Fun! Oh I almost forgot the Gifts (YES!). This is also the time that shoppers can become at risk which leads to potential cases. Think about this the next time your surfing online looking for those special gifts for you loved ones…. 26% of victims information is missed used by Credit Card fraud

58% of victims did not contact any Credit Reporting Agencies

61% of victims did not notify the Police Department

(73%) 255,565 Complaints and only (27%) 93,938 Request Information

Base on the FTC’s “Victim Complaint Data”- Figures and Trends (Jan, 1 – Dec, 31 2005).

This is unbelievable! Majority of these victims didn’t even bother reporting this major problem to their local police department. You’re probably thinking to yourself why would anyone not want to report these terrible crimes? Simple, IN MANY STATES, IDENTITY THEFT IS NOT AGAINST THE LAW!! Being a victim of Identity Theft is a living nightmare! Can you imagine what these victims are going through? I was in the Mortgage Business and I tell you mortgage fraud was a $305 billion industry. You maybe think your not vulnerable but this crime is as simple as waking up one morning then get a call from the bank saying that you don’t own your house anymore and you have 24 hours to move out what was once your home.

Would you know what to do if this happened to you? Unfortunately, victims themselves are burdened with resolving the problem. You’re on your own. With Identity Theft Protection, you’ll have experienced professionals on your side taking the steps to monitor & restore your name and credit for you. Why not make it easier for you and your family to prevent this problem by protecting yourself from Identity Thief.

Asbestos Mesothelioma Legal Information and You?

Facts you need to know regarding asbestos mesothelioma legal information? Asbestos is classified as a naturally sourced mineral. It’s been utilised for many years for assorted reasons such as in building components, small appliances, insulating materials and vehicle components. It’s used in shipyards, manufacturing plants, railroads, industrial facilities as well as in other places. It is known as extremely resistant against deterioration and is a great insulator next to high temperature.

However, asbestos has some properties that make it harmful to any person handling it. It has been known to cause of various cancers, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. The latter is a rare form of cancer, also known as asbestos cancer. The mesothelium is the lining of some cavities and organs. The mesothelia most affected by exposure to asbestos are those of the heart, lungs and intestines.

According to statistics, Mesothelioma kills about 3000 people annually. This kills 3% to 5% more males than ladies. This is mainly because men constitute a larger portion of the workforce than women. This cancer also has a latency period. It takes a long time to develop, sometimes even decades.

Individuals with Mesothelioma have numerous legitimate options to obtain settlement. Affected persons are encouraged to file lawsuits for compensation. There are two types of asbestos cancer lawsuits: personal injury and wrongful death. In the former, a person with mesothelioma cancer files a claim for damages, ranging from loss of wages, past and present medical expenses and pain and suffering. In the latter, survivors of a deceased victim of this cancer may file a wrongful death claim, for the premature death of their kin. The claim covers earnings, companionship, protection as well as treatment providers. In the US, regulations pertaining to these lawsuits differ from one state to another.

For many years, companies that used asbestos never educated their employees on the risks of dealing with this well-known carcinogen. Consequently, many employees contracted diseases due to overexposure, while companies got away with their negligent behavior. Today, however, things are different. Persons that worked in such companies can now file lawsuits seeking compensation, even though they no longer work there anymore. Compensations from such claims are large enough for the patient and their family as well.

In addition, the US government protects people with disabilities. Patients suffering from Mesothelioma cancer are eligible for disability compensation. They are able to secure compensation by submitting a social security disability lawsuit claim, seeking financial help. They may also pursue a similar disability claim privately with an insurance company, through their employer’s insurance policy, or an existing life insurance policy. In some instances, health insurance should provide monetary compensation to help offset some of their medical costs. In the event the insurance company declines to do so, one may file a lawsuit for unmerited insurance practice.

It is advisable to seek the services of a lawyer for asbestos mesothelioma legal information who is well acquainted with similar lawsuits and who is able to work around the legal intricacies of such cases. Victims of this disease no longer need to suffer unnecessarily as there are many legal options available to them now.

Copyright (c) 2010 Daniel K Voyles

Your Conflict With the Law

Laws are rules of conduct that are accepted by the people and enforced by the state. Even this simple definition gives us problems. One of the problems is that laws, like the mini-skirt or a hair style come and go out of fashion. Behavior that we thought was outrageous a few decades ago is now acceptable.

When laws cease to be appropriate they should be changed. Unfortunately, laws are slow to change and society can move quite quickly. There are some laws, however, that never go out of fashion like robbery and murder. Oscar Wilde was maligned for his homosexuality; he was imprisoned and made a social outcast. If he was alive today he would be a celebrated television personality.

Even more confusing, instead of being black and white, we place laws on a point on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, we have murderers and armed robbers; we feel that their behaviour is definitely wrong. At the other end of the spectrum we have someone who accepts €30 for taking a friend to the airport but does not declare the income in his tax return. Both are displaying criminal behaviour but we view them differently.

In addition to state laws, we also have our internal rules of conduct. These were given to us by our parents and other significant people in our lives. We live by these rules, though we pay lip service to the laws of the country.

How many of us have done the “odd job” and been paid for it without declaring it to the tax authorities. This is against the law, but we do not view it that way. Problems arise when our internal rules conflict with the laws of the country.

It is not unusual for people who are guilty of a crime to believe that they have done nothing wrong. A man who has stolen a loaf of bread for his starving family will believe that he has acted within his conscience and punishment by the state would be wrong.

The culture of a society will also determine what constitutes correct behaviour. When differing cultures meet, huge rifts can appear and often violence erupts. Both sides feel that they are behaving correctly. In some cultures, beating a wife “to make her behave properly” is regarding as correct; in others it is frowned upon.

Even within the same culture, problems may arise. In a relationship, partners may have powerfully opposing views on fidelity, violence within the marriage and financial freedom.

It is possible that you have been affected by crime and cannot come to terms with it. What may be happening is that your internal rules cry out for justice, but the culture or laws do not require the punishment that you seek. It will appear to you that there is an injustice.

It is not unusual for us to see offenders bemused and even amused by our outrage because they cannot see the problem. We are angry and want them to admit that they were wrong in order to satisfy our own needs. If they make such an admission, they will not mean it, because they do not believe what they have done is wrong.

Criminal behaviour affects us all. When we experience it face to face, it is hard to accept. Often, it is not the financial loss that that gives us the problem; it is the intrusion into our property and lives that angers us and leaves us with a feeling of insecurity. Our sense of fair play and our internal rules of conduct have been violated leaving us confused, angry and depressed. It can take years to come to terms with such intrusions.

I have produced some therapeutic recordings on a variety of subjects and invite people to make suggestions for additional recordings. The full list can be seen on http://renaissancetherapyprogram.com. This article, for example demonstrates that we feel that the law may not represent our own views. This may cause us problems, and problems with the authorities. People may feel that a therapeutic recording containing some useful suggestions may be appropriate.

Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft Today

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. It occurs when someone steals your personal information, which can include your social security, driver’s license and credit card numbers and so on. Entities that have had their databases compromised include the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and University of Texas School of Business. The common fear among victims is that these thieves will use their personal data to access bank accounts, open new credit cards, obtain long distance calling accounts or take out loans.

In an effort to help fight identity theft, Congress added new sections to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA). Privacy, limits on information sharing, consumer rights to disclosure and accuracy are all addressed.

An Overview of FACTA:

o To self-monitor their credit history, consumers may obtain free copies of their credit report annually at http://www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
o Businesses must leave off all but the final five digits of a credit card number on printed store receipts.
o Employers must destroy all information obtained from a consumer credit report before discarding it.
o Consumers who suspect they are the victims of identity theft need only to notify one of the three credit reporting services (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) to initiate a nationwide fraud alert.
o Mortgage lenders must provide the credit score they use to determine a loan’s interest rate, regardless of loan approval.
o Companies must provide training for their employees and document when it was completed. It should outline what the consequences are for any violations.

Reasonable measures of destruction of personal information include:
o Burning, shredding or pulverizing documents so they become impossible to put back together or read.
o Erasing electronic files that contain any consumer reports so they cannot be recovered.

After reviewing company practices to ensure that they are designed to reasonably protect personal information, some companies are hiring outside firms that specialize in destroying personal records.

Penalties include:

o Civil liability – An employee can recover actual damages sustained if their identity is stolen from an employer. Or an employer could be liable for statutory damages up to $1,000 per employee.
o Class action lawsuits – If a large number of employees are impacted, they may be able to bring class action suits and obtain punitive damages from employers.
o Federal fines – An employer can be fined up to $2,500 per violation.

The law applies to any business that collects personal information or consumer reports about customers or employees to make decisions within their business. This most definitely applies to real estate brokerage offices. All records should be stored in a secure method so as to protect all personal data relating to agents and most definitely data pertaining to clients. Look at the next step in protecting your company from potential liability.

According to the FTC, a reasonable plan for a company to safeguard personal information includes:

o Designating an employee to coordinate and be responsible for the security program.
o Identifying material internal and external risks to the security of these personal data.
o Designing and implementing reasonable safeguards to control the risks identified in the risk assessment.
o Continually evaluating and adjusting the security plan in light of the results of ongoing monitoring and testing of the program, material changes to business arrangements.
o Creating a mitigation plan that kicks in when there is a privacy or security breach and there is a need to “repair it” immediately in the eyes of customers, government regulators and management.

Private individuals can take the following safeguard steps to protect their identity from theft:

o Burn or shred any financial papers, mail or credit reports that contain personal information. Never recycle that paper.
o Call 1-888-5OPT-OUT and request that credit card companies stop sending pre-approved credit card applications. Also, ask your credit card companies to stop sending you “convenience checks”. These are sent monthly by your credit card companies and your contact to cancel these will most realistically need to be a monthly phone call until the message is implemented. In other words, keep after them until you get resolution.
o Invest in a shredder that can destroy credit cards, CDs and staples.
o Delete any e-mail that asks for personal information and instruct your employees and family members to do the same.
o Hang up on any telemarketers who ask for your personal information. Instruct your family members to do the same.
o Limit the number of credit cards you hold, both business and personal. Review your monthly statements, financial records and bank statements as soon as they arrive. The sooner you report a suspicious incident the better.
o Companies should advertise their privacy policies on their website.
o Use credit cards instead of debit cards. $50 is your maximum liability for credit cards.

Food For Thought:

Statistics show that if there is a security breach, 20% of your customers will no longer do business with you, 40% consider not doing business with you and 5% hire an attorney to sue your company.