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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vodaphone Bungles a Cyber-Crime Investigation

The Athens affair is likely to become a textbook case of how a cyber-crime investigation get mishandled.

Briefly, the case is as follows.

During the 2004 Olympics in Athens, security services used the legal phone tapping system installed in Vodafone's cellular network in order to gather intelligence on potential terrorist attacks. However, after the Olympics, someone (most likely the National Security Agency) used sophisticated spyware that was nearly stealth, in order to tap into the highest echelons of the Hellenic government. These conversations were sent to particular cell phones in the Athens area.

Eventually, the tap was discovered; however, Vodaphone bungled the investigation by erasing data logs and other important evidence which could have been used to track down the perpetrators. The only evidence that is available is the triangulation of the spy-phones, all of which were in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy there.

The lack of either a cyber-forensics squad, or know how of how to conduct a cyber-crime investigation on the part of the Hellenic police is indicative of an important problem in tackling the issue of cyber-crime not only in Hellas, but in all countries.

Without technical know-how of a dedicated corps of officers, it will be impossible for even developed countries to assure prosecution of cyber-crime.

The solution: I propose an international task force that trains and maintains a liaison with police departments. It would be best to do so under the auspices of INTERPOL. The authors of the article would agree.

1 comment:

victor said...

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