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[] APEC befasst sich mit Cybercrime,

...nicht zum ersten Mal. Der Reporter offenbar schon:
"In the wrong hands, a computer keyboard can hurt more than a gun or a

Bangkok Post, 5.8.2003


Cybercrime poses a major threat

Some of today's most pernicious and dangerous criminals are armed with
that most up-to-date of weapons _ the computer. Last week in Bangkok,
members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation e-Security Task Group
pinpointed the fastest growing crime in the Pacific region. Their
solution is for nations to write laws that mesh with those of other
countries, and to cooperate publicly against cybercrime. It is a
sensible recommendation. The question is whether Apec members will adopt

International traffickers and smugglers, terrorists and criminal gangs
have harnessed parts of the internet and high technology for their
violence and crimes. In ``cyberspace'' there are no clear borders.
Worse, there are huge differences between national laws. A criminal can
sit in one country and commit a felony in another, and store or send his
ill-gotten profits in a third.

Two reports issued while the Apec delegates were busy in Bangkok
highlighted the dangers that society faces from cybercrime. At the
continuing trials of the accused Bali bombers, there was testimony on
how the Oct 12, 2002 terrorist attack was financed. Wire transfers from
the Middle East, arranged by a Jemaah Islamiyah agent in Singapore,
reportedly came to the planners of the operation as they were hiding out
in Bangkok.

The Global Economic Crime Survey 2003 by PricewaterhouseCoopers focused
on Asia. The firm reported that cybercrime accounted for more economic
crimes than any other type last year. Its survey showed 47% of
businesses in Asia suffered some sort of economic crime last year _ 30%
of it cybercrime. The big three also included corruption and bribery,
which affected 27%, and product piracy, which hit 24%. More
surprisingly, big businesses suffered from cybercrime only slightly more
than smaller firms. Bank robberies by hackers were one major crime, but
embezzlement by accountants was common.

Since the publicised theft of thousands of Bangkok credit card records
by a European teenager several years ago, hacking has become more
common. Internet-connected computers pose a temptation that criminals
and terrorists find hard to resist. Last week, a Chinese web site
published details of a security hole in the Microsoft Windows system,
and within days hackers started to employ it.

The Apec delegates discussed cases like this. A hacker in Bangkok, using
the internet, spends a few days or weeks setting up ``robot'' computers
with malicious, virus-like software _ an easy task these days for even
barely computer literate people, thanks to instructions on the world
wide web. He then launches an attack to deny service and shut down the
computers of a major firm with headquarters in Singapore, New York and
Sydney. Who arrests him, and on what charges? Indeed, under today's law
there is confusion over whether the Bali bombers even broke the law by
financing their atrocity through international financial centres while
in Bangkok.

Clearly, there must be laws to criminalise such activities. It is
unacceptable in the computer age that such criminals could get away with
illegal, harmful behaviour because a country failed to pass a law which
is obviously needed. But it is important, as the Apec meeting made
clear, that the national laws agree with one another. That achieves two
aims. One is that harmonised laws make clear what is illegal and allow
enforcement everywhere. The other is that officials can easily cooperate
across borders, and reach out to crush criminals.

We will all hear a lot about Apec meetings and goals this year, because
Thailand will host the majority. But cybercrime is an issue that
deserves a place at the climactic Apec summit in October. In the wrong
hands, a computer keyboard can hurt more than a gun or a bomb.

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