Magazine article Security Management

Making It Stick

Magazine article Security Management

Making It Stick

Article excerpt

Although companies are turning to law enforcement to bring hackers to justice, the number of prosecutions still remains low.

Security breaches have traditionally been kept under wraps by companies and governments fearing negative publicity and copycats. Concerned about the increased threat of attacks, however, more companies are turning to law enforcement to bring their network infiltrators to justice. Are more system intruders being held accountable as a result?

Not according to a recent study by attorney and privacy activist David Banisar. Although the number of hacking cases referred for prosecution has multiplied in recent years, prosecution rates remain dismal and sentencing lags even further behind. A summary of his preliminary findings was published in Criminal Justice Weekly; Banisar says he is working on a more thorough analysis.

Using data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, Banisar compiled the 419 cases brought to prosecutors since 1992, as well as sentences meted out in the 83 cases that moved forward. Referrals, he says, have more than tripled between 1992 and 1998, yet each year the Department of Justice has declined to prosecute between 64 and 78 percent of the cases. …

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