Young Wizards of Internet Crime

The Birmingham Post (England), February 8, 2001 | Go to article overview

Young Wizards of Internet Crime


Byline: John Revill

Hardened criminals are recruiting young technical wizards to help them reap tens of millions of pounds from Internet rackets.

Expert hackers as young as 16 are being used by crooks to set up computer fraud and extortion operations, the National Crime Squad said. An international conference has now been arranged in Birmingham for detectives to discuss methods to combat the rising tide of high-tech crime.

NCS will hold its first-ever European meeting, called New Frontiers, to examine ways to disrupt paedophilia, fraud, and electronic extortion on the Internet.

Delegates from more than 20 European countries will be joining speakers from around the world, including industry experts and the FBI, at the two-day meeting at the International Convention Centre next week.

Bob Packham, deputy director general of the NCS, said: 'The Internet is a fast-developing business which gives criminals access to new victims. Often criminals are leaving traditional crimes for the high-tech approach.

'Criminals will go where there is the highest profit and the lowest risk. Years ago you had bank robbers going across the pavement with a shotgun, and then they moved into drugs and then alcohol and tobacco smuggling. There is an equation that the criminals follow the money, and most of the money is going electronically at the moment. Now the old-style criminals are recruiting younger experts with the computer skills to help them.

'We know that the Internet is being used by paedophiles, for fraud and extortion. …

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