A Guide To
This type of computer crime covers the activities of the following:
· Disgruntled employees: Planning their next move to a competitor and copying (either as a paper document or electronically) commercially sensitive material;
· Political activists, journalists, and minority action groups: Who wish to discredit the activities of an organisation by releasing potentially damaging information into the public domain;
· Hackers and Phishers: Obtaining and trading or publishing passwords, credit card details or other valuable information for sale or trade (or even for free) on web sites or similar. This also applies to the publishing of 'exploits' on the internet so that others can use hacking methods developed by more knowledgeable hackers - these are called 'script kiddies' as all they do is find the script and run it as any kid could do;
· Information brokers: A term which originated in the petrochemical industry where the contracts to build oil platforms and geological exploration information was worth millions of pounds. The information brokers would buy and gather information using a variety of techniques to sell to the highest bidder.
While information theft has been referred to above as a computer crime, the investigator should be aware that when a company's information has "leaked" to a competitor, there might have been no criminal act committed. A company may find it very difficult to bring a case for information theft if:
· The employee had access to such data in the course of a normal working day;
· The company had no information classification policy to define what company sensitive material was;
· The company does not have clear policies for the storage and management of sensitive materials, for example a clean desk policy, and an information security policy;
· There are no secure document disposal mechanisms (i.e. cross cut shredders);
· The terms and conditions of employment did not include clauses on confidentiality and proprietary information and make reference to the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Computer Misuse Act 1990;
· There was no proper exit interview when such information and media containing it could be recovered.
An Introduction to Computer Crime