UK government report shows local police are not ready to fight cyber-crime

Apr 10, 2014 by Bob Yirka weblog
Computer keyboard

(Phys.org) —Britain's Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has issued a report critiquing the state of local police readiness regarding cyber-crime in England and Wales. Workers with HMIC have gathered statistics in the wake of the British government's call to action last year to respond to five major threats: terrorism, civil emergencies, organized crime, public order threats and large-scale cyber-attacks. While the bulk of traditional threats appear to be adequately addressed, developing a response to a large-scale cyber attack does not. Indeed, representatives of the HMIC have concluded that many top law enforcement officials were not even clear on what constitutes a large-scale cyber-attack.

In the report, HMIC claims that out of 43 police forces, just 3 have developed a comprehensive plan to handle a major cyber attack and only 2 percent of police staff had been trained on how to investigate .

One of the difficulties in fighting cyber , is of course, the lack of geography. In real life, crimes happen in certain areas that fall under a certain jurisdictions. With cyber crime, the perpetuators could be next door (stealing WiFi), across town, or even in another country. When a victim arrives at a police station to report that they've had data stolen off their computer, in most cases, police won't know how to respond. Another problem is that computer security has in many cases come to be seen as a private matter—banks and credit card companies are expected to protect not only their own assets, but those of their customers.

Sadly, officials with HMIC found that very little has changed regarding police preparation for cyber attacks since they last checked two years ago, suggesting that many forces either don't understand the threat or don't know where to begin to prepare against it. In the report, readiness is seen as "largely absent." Of particular concern is the apparent lack of readiness to protect public resources such as power stations or water treatment facilities against cyber terrorists—the HMIC considers such to be civil emergency possibilities, yet little appears to have been done by local police to protect them.

The report concludes by insisting that local police forces take cyber crime more seriously and to upgrade their knowledge about and how to combat them. Police, they note, need to operate just as well in cyber-space as they do on the streets.

Explore further: Goodwill, feds investigate possible data breach

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UK govt to announce new cyber security strategy

Nov 25, 2011

The government is set to announce new measures to tackle cyber crime on Friday as Britain's internet and electronic communications network comes under increased attack from hackers and foreign intelligence ...

EU Commission wants Cyber Crime Center

Mar 28, 2012

(AP) -- The European Commission wants to set up a special center to deal with cyber crime to protect citizens against illegal online activities.

Hackers attack Italian cyber police website

Jul 25, 2011

Hacker groups LulzSec and Anonymous announced on Monday that they had hacked into the website of Italy's cyber police and published classified information online in an attack dubbed "Operation Italy".

Recommended for you

Share button may share your browsing history, too

Jul 22, 2014

One in 18 of the world's top 100,000 websites track users without their consent using a previously undetected cookie-like tracking mechanism embedded in 'share' buttons. A new study by researchers at KU Leuven ...

Tokyo police make arrest in massive data leak case

Jul 17, 2014

Tokyo police said Thursday they had arrested an engineer for allegedly stealing massive amounts of personal data from an educational services firm, a leak that may ultimately affect more than 20 million people.

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

baudrunner
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2014
Britain's Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has issued a report critiquing the state of local police readiness regarding cyber-crime in England and Wales.
Now, what is it, Britain's or her Majesty's?! When are those sycophants who pay lip service to those extortionists and murderers, who want only to protect their lavish lifestyles and maintain their tenuous grip on power, finally going to surrender to the concept of democracy and equal rights? British royalty has never had the interests of the people at heart, have ruled through terror and fear, and desire only to follow their personal agenda, which is to live on lavish estates, keep out the rabble with their own private security, and pursue their quest to control and subdue. They are criminal. Every Englishman thinks it's okay to be a pirate and a thief, so long as you do it in the name of the queen, because that's all that British royals have ever been.
Nik_2213
not rated yet Apr 10, 2014
Let's be serious; the police are up to their eye-brows in paper work for what they face every day. All so an accidentally un-dotted 'i' or un-crossed 't' doesn't let yet another persistent offender walk free yet again...

Must be said police computer system is a little better than it was. We've recently had to change the padlock on our side gate after some-one attacked it with bolt-croppers. (Staple held ;-) Today, we found a well-used deWalt 18V cordless drill abandoned by the gate under our new sign reminding that we had CCTV...

Tomorrow, I take the expensive drill and its two spare battery packs to local police station for CID to trace the serial numbers...
baudrunner
not rated yet Apr 11, 2014
@Nik_2213, and this in a country where if you follow the normal pattern of behavior during the course of a day you will have been surveilled up to 600 times by CCTV's. Every step you take is monitored. You want that in your country? What a sick place.

baudrunner
not rated yet Apr 12, 2014
Actually, operative words here are, "local police are not ready to fight cyber-crime". Local police in most developed nations normally aren't very proactive when it comes to investigating complaints in general, and merely go through the motions of filling out the appropriate incident report, then move on. Imagine the scenario of an individual calling the police to complain that his computer has been compromised. Their first response is most certainly, "Well, what do you want us to do about it?" As for corporations, they will have their own cyber security protocols in place via their systems support staff. Personally, I don't think that local police should in any way be involved in investigating cyber-crime, but should refer the plaintiff to a special body set up for that purpose.