GROUP TAKES CYBER-CRIME SERIOUSLY : MASSACHUSETTS UNIT TO FIGHT THEFTS.Byline: Hiawatha Bray ‘’‘Hiawatha Bray’’’ is a technology columnist for the ’’Boston Globe’’. Born in Chicago, he started as a reporter and managing editor for ’‘Computerpeople Weekly’’. The Boston Globe
Cyber-crooks in Massachusetts were put on notice Thursday when the state announced a new organization to crack down on high-technology crime.
Attorney General Scott Harshbarger Luther Scott Harshbarger (born December 1, 1941 in New Haven, Connecticut) is a lawyer and a Democratic politician from the U.S. state of Massachusetts.
Harshbarger was first elected as District Attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts in 1982, defeating incumbent DA John said the Massachusetts High-Technology Crime Unit will strengthen the state's computer industry by combating hardware and software thefts that cost companies millions of dollars. The organization will also help in traditional law enforcement by investigating cases where computers are used as a tool of crime.
``It will protect our high-tech industry, it will protect consumers, and it will send a clear message of intolerance to high-tech criminals,'' Harshbarger said of the new unit.
The unit will be operated jointly by Harshbarger's office and by the office of Public Safety Secretary Kathleen O'Toole Kathleen M. O'Toole is the Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate, set up to audit Ireland's national police force, the Garda Síochána and report to Ireland's Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform on changes to improve efficiency in line with best international practice. . It will coordinate its efforts with local police departments and the FBI.
Officials haven't set up a budget for the unit yet, but five state troopers with experience in computing have been assigned to the job. Assistant Attorney General Linda Nutting Murphy, chief of the unit, said she is talking with local computer firms about providing up-to-date equipment for the investigators.
``There really isn't a bright line between computer crime and down-and-dirty street crime,'' said O'Toole. Some criminals are out to steal or damage computer hardware or software. Others use computers as a tool for committing crimes, the way a bank robber uses a car to make his getaway.
There are disgruntled dis·grun·tle
tr.v. dis·grun·tled, dis·grun·tling, dis·grun·tles
To make discontented.
[dis- + gruntle, to grumble (from Middle English gruntelen; see workers who steal corporate secrets from computer networks, embezzle embezzle
To take illegally something of value being held in custody for someone else. money or forge documents. Corrupt hackers often distribute pilfered commercial software for free over the Internet. And organized crime groups often store evidence of drug dealing, prostitution and illegal gambling on personal computers.
High-tech gear is also often the target of old-fashioned thieves. On Wednesday, three men were indicted INDICTED, practice. When a man is accused by a bill of indictment preferred by a grand jury, he is said to be indicted. for stealing $10 million in blank Absent limitation or restriction.
The term in blank is used in reference to negotiable instruments, such as checks or promissory notes. When such Commercial Paper is endorsed in blank, the designated payee signs his or her name only. disks and Microsoft Corp. software from Kao Infosystems in Plymouth, Mass. Meanwhile, in California, armed gangs have broken into warehouses and stolen computer hardware worth millions of dollars.
``It's not happening here, but it could happen,'' said Anthony Gentilucci, manager of investigative services at Digital Equipment Corp.
In all, said Harshbarger, high-technology crime costs the U.S. economy between $5 billion and $10 billion a year. He estimated the typical technology theft results in a loss of $2 million, compared to $2,500 stolen in the average bank robbery. And Harshbarger said computer crime adds $45 to the cost of the average personal computer.
Some communities have already responded. In the high-tech havens of San Jose and Austin, Texas, police departments have set up computer crime units; New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. has done the same. In addition, the FBI has established its own center for computer crime investigation at the federal level. The Boston Police Department The Boston Police Department (BPD) has the primary responsibility for law enforcement and investigation within the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is the 20th largest department in the United States and is arguably the oldest police department in the country. doesn't have a computer crime unit, but a spokesman said the department does have officers who specialize in the field.