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Computer Crime

November 23, 1988 | PAUL FELDMAN, Times Staff Writer
When it comes to data diddling, logic bombing, malicious hacking and other everyday forms of computer crime, there is no lack of laws on the books. Even that most sexy, state-of-the-art technological curse, the computer virus, may well be addressed--if not specifically cited--in state and federal criminal statutes, experts say. Successful prosecutions, however, are a different story, tending to decrease dramatically as the sophistication of the electronic misdeed increases.
June 6, 2013 | Shashank Bengali and Ken Dilanian
In January 2010, when Google accused Chinese hackers of infiltrating its network to track emails of human rights activists, the Obama administration didn't disclose what U.S. diplomats in Beijing believed: China's Politburo had directed the attack. Today the White House no longer shies from publicly accusing Beijing of launching a sophisticated range of cyber attacks on U.S. computer networks to steal corporate and government secrets -- including those of naval propulsion systems and gas pipeline technology -- worth billions of dollars.
March 5, 1998 | Reuters
Computer crime is booming and few people are doing enough to protect themselves against assaults ranging from stolen laptops to high-tech Internet heists worth millions, a San Francisco-based watchdog group said. In its third-annual survey, the Computer Security Institute said 520 specialists polled at U.S. corporations, government agencies, financial institutions and universities reported that the wired world was becoming increasingly dangerous.
March 27, 2013 | By Matt Pearce, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
A Wisconsin man could face years in federal prison if he is convicted of helping hacker collective Anonymous take down Koch Industries' website during protests in the state's capital in 2011, according to an indictment revealed this week. The charges were announced Tuesday by the U.S. attorney's office in Wichita, Kan. -- the home of Koch Industries, a $115-billion-a-year oil and manufacturing conglomerate owned by libertarian iconoclasts Charles and David Koch. Officials said Eric J. Rosol, 37, of Black Creek, Wis., participated in an Anonymous-organized shutdown of Koch websites and on Feb. 27 and 28 in 2011.
August 7, 1988 | GEORGE WHITE, Times Staff Writer
The corporate war against computer crime has come into the open. Executives are stepping up efforts to stop computer hackers and disgruntled employees from manipulating their data processing systems to embezzle funds, uncover secrets and destroy data. Among other things, security-conscious businesses are installing sophisticated "access control" gadgetry, bringing in special consultants and working more closely with other companies and law enforcement authorities.
October 12, 1989 | MICHAEL SCHRAGE
I'm sick of viruses. I'm even sicker of the weasels who program them. Starting at midnight tonight, the so-called Columbus Day virus (also known as the Datacrime virus) will allegedly spring to life to destroy all the hard disk data on thousands of IBM-compatible personal computers. Picture someone sneaking into your office and torching every item in your files--letters, reports, memos. Everything. Multiply that by thousands and you have computerdom's equivalent to Hurricane Hugo.
January 3, 1990
A teen-ager pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he used his home computer to make telephone bomb threats to a school and a restaurant and to tie up the phone lines of two law enforcement agencies. The 17-year-old high school student from San Gabriel pleaded guilty in Pasadena Juvenile Court to two felony counts of making a false bomb report and one felony count of obtaining telephone services by fraud. Deputy Dist. Atty.
May 19, 1995
It won't take another salvo of overly broad and breathless laws from Congress to confront crime on the worldwide computer web known as the Internet. Good old-fashioned police work and statutes already on the books will suffice in almost all cases. A law broken is a law broken, even if that occurs in cyberspace. Take, for example, the downloading of pornography from the Net into one's home computer. Yes, some think that's a problem, but it isn't one that would be solved by Sen. James J.
It took federal law enforcement officials all of eight days to arrest Gary Dale Hoke, the PairGain Technologies employee who in April put up a bogus Internet announcement that the Tustin-based developer of telecommunications technology was being acquired by an Israeli outfit for $1.35 billion. The speed and efficiency of Hoke's apprehension amounted to blinding speed in the world of securities fraud, where cases can take years to investigate and prosecute.
The sentencing in Los Angeles on Monday of Kevin Mitnick, the nation's most notorious computer hacker, for breaking into Sun Microsystems computers would ordinarily be cause for celebration by the federal government. Officials are still smarting from Mitnick's 1983 efforts to break into the Pentagon's computers. But federal officials are in no mood to celebrate.
February 6, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
As martyrs go, Aaron Swartz was an extraordinary example of the breed. A computer programming genius, he had helped develop the social networking site Reddit and became known as a leading advocate for easy and free information sharing on the Web. When Swartz committed suicide in January, while awaiting trial on federal computer hacking charges that could have landed him in prison for 35 years and cost him fines of $1 million, his death was seen...
May 13, 2012
Los Angeles County voters will soon select a new district attorney, and it likely will be their most consequential vote in years. It is hard to overstate the role that the top prosecutor of the nation's most populous county will have as California completely reinvents its justice system. Residents must demand a D.A. who will do his or her utmost to keep them safe, while at the same time embracing reform and ensuring smarter, and less costly, punishment and supervision of nonviolent criminals.
August 12, 2008 | Joseph Menn, Times Staff Writer
Identity theft is soaring in California, and street gangs are angling for a piece of the action. Recent cases point to an interest in identity fraud by organizations as diverse as a Long Beach chapter of the Crips, the Armenian Power gang and the prison-based Mexican Mafia, according to law enforcement officials and fraud experts. The trend among criminals better known for violence and drug trafficking goes against type.
August 7, 2008 | Joseph Menn, Times Staff Writer
A gaping hole in the foundation of the Internet can allow malicious hackers to launch new attacks on corporate systems as well as individual computer users, a leading technology security researcher said Wednesday. The problem is being fixed, but many corporate systems remain vulnerable and the extent of any damage is unknown.
August 6, 2008 | Joseph Menn and Andrea Chang, Times Staff Writers
Federal authorities said Tuesday that they had cracked the largest case of identity theft in U.S. history, charging 11 people in the theft of more than 40 million credit and debit card account numbers from computer systems at such major retailers as TJ Maxx and Barnes & Noble.
July 25, 2008 | Michelle Quinn and John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writers
Treat your I.T. workers well. Listen to their concerns. Encourage their creativity. But set up good checks to make sure they can't hijack your system. That may be the lesson in the wake of the 10-day standoff here between a computer network expert and the municipality for which he worked. Terry Childs, 43, a suspended systems administrator for the city and county of San Francisco, sits in a jail cell, accused of tampering with the very computer network he was hired to maintain.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Chris Painter, who has prosecuted a number of high-profile hacking cases in Los Angeles, has been named to a top computer crime-fighting post with the Justice Department in Washington. Painter, 42, was recently named deputy chief of the Justice Department's computer crime and intellectual property section, one of the fastest-growing areas of the department. As an assistant U.S.
Financial losses from computer crime seem to be growing dramatically--perhaps into the tens of billions of dollars annually for companies worldwide, according to an author of an annual survey released today. Computer crime is increasing, but views diverge about which problems--from high-profile vandalism such as last year's "Love Bug" e-mail virus, to profit-seeking hackers, to insider theft of corporate secrets--cause the most damage.
June 11, 2008 | Joseph Menn, Times Staff Writer
Cyber-crime pays. But selling counterfeit drugs apparently pays better. Some of the world's most prolific spammers used to tout products for a few pennies per million e-mails or con consumers into forking over credit card information. But these groups have found that the most profit and growth potential lies in actually shipping the fake Viagra and other products they're hawking, according to a study scheduled for release today by a top security researcher.
December 23, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
The number of U.S. adults targeted by e-mail scams more than doubled during the last three years, resulting in losses of more than $3 billion, as cyber criminals used more sophisticated methods to steal money. An estimated 124 million U.S. adults received so-called phishing e-mail attacks this year, compared with 57 million in 2004, according to a report published by research firm Gartner Inc. The percentage of people who lost money rose to 3.3%, from 2.3% last year, Gartner said.
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