California unveils cyber crime unit

December 15, 2011
California has a new eCrime Unit devoted to catching and prosecuting Internet Age crooks.

California has a new eCrime Unit devoted to catching and prosecuting Internet Age crooks.

State attorney general Kamala Harris created the team, which is comprised of 20 attorneys and investigators specializing in identity theft and .

"Today's criminals increasingly use the Internet, smartphones, and other digital devices to victimize people online and offline," Harris said while unveiling the unit in the city of San Jose.

"I am creating the eCrime Unit so that California can be a leader in using innovative law enforcement techniques to target these criminals."

Crimes targeted include email scams, online fraud, piracy, child porn, and real-world heists of computer gear by organized gangs, according to Harris.

Cases handled by the unit, which was formed in August but whose existence was only revealed on Tueseday, include a man sentenced to prison for hacking email and accounts to get embarrassing pictures used to blackmail victims in Britain and the United States.

Another case involved a group that secretly installed card scanners and hidden cameras at machines to get account information and passwords to steal an estimated two million dollars.

"As the importance of the Internet to our economy has grown, criminals have moved online to steal valuable information and goods from individuals and businesses," said Jeffrey Rosen, district attorney of the county in which San Jose is located.

"In the 21st Century, law enforcement will be increasingly combating online criminal activity."

Explore further: Internet fraud's U.S. price tag put at $550 million

Related Stories

Internet fraud's U.S. price tag put at $550 million

March 15, 2010

U.S. citizens reported losing more than $550 million in 2009 in Internet fraud, falling prey to a variety of increasingly sophisticated scams, according to a report by the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Dozens charged in NY in global computer virus scam

September 30, 2010

(AP) -- Hackers in eastern Europe who used computer viruses to steal usernames and passwords teamed up with foreign students who opened bank accounts in the U.S. to snatch at least $3 million from American bank accounts, ...

Business booming for cyber criminals: security firm

January 20, 2011

Cyber criminals are selling stolen credit card details for as little as two dollars each and renting computer networks for spam for 15 dollars as part of a vast online black market, according to a report released Thursday.

Businesses fall prey to cyberthieves' cunning

April 4, 2011

Among the growing ranks of consumers, business owners and others being lured by the convenience of online banking are legions of cybercrooks who have found the technology a convenient way to steal from unsuspecting victims.

Recommended for you

Apple patent looks at fuel cell system for portable device

September 4, 2015

A fuel cell battery to last weeks, not days, is the subject of a patent filed by Apple. According to news reports, the patent is about an energy cell powering a portable electronic device. The Telegraph said this was likely ...

How to curb emissions? Put a price on carbon

September 3, 2015

Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions.

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.