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 The need for a law
 Some Cyber Crimes
 Submit your views
Hacking was once an accepted side-effect of the laissez-faire world of the Internet. Not any longer, though. From admiration and mild indulgence to present-day zero tolerance, the Internet has come a full circle.Submit your views on the fight against cyber-crimes

Gulf Today, 22 October 2000

Law to combat cyber crimes in 3 months
THE UAE government has completed a draft law to combat cyber crimes and it is expected to become effective in three months, said Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, minister of communications and chairman of Etisalat. The new law which considers all types of hacking as crimes, put deterrent penalties and chase criminals wherever they are.

The need for the law
When information was in material form on papers, it could be controlled by the nation. Each nation has got a plethora of laws and procedures for the paper-driven world. However, information today is dematerialized and all records and transactions are in electronic form. The laws are not geared for this paperless world. Countries have yet to devise ways and means of proving the authenticity of online transactions.

It's new world of collaboration among customers, government agencies and all others. But despite all the safeguards and a computer security budget in hundreds of millions of dollars, attempts have been made, some successful, to hack into high-profile companies, almost always through the Internet. Will cyber-laws prove a deterrent?

Strangely the popular attitude to cyber-crimes is not one of condemnation. One can go so far as to say that there is a sneaking admiration for these cyber-terrorists who successfully bring large companies 'down on their knees'. Along with severe laws, we need to bring the public tolerance of cyber-crimes to zero. Submit your views on the fight against cyber-crimes

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Notable Cyber Crimes
  • Hackers had broken into the computer system of the software Giant Microsoft Corp (26.10.2000). The company has reported the break-in to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation ans was working with authorities to protect its intellectual property.
  • In January 1997, General Motors won a $100 million settlement against Volkswagen for the activities of a General Motors executive who, in his move to the foreign firm, allegedly took with him plans for an advanced assembly line and other proprietary information
  • Tamil guerrillas conducted a denial-of-service attack against Sri Lankan embassies by flooding e-mail servers with messages.
  • In 1997 Carlos Felipe Salgado, Jr. plead guilty to charges he harvested over US $1 billion dollars worth of credit from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in San Diego and other companies which conduct online transactions. He was eventually caught after bragging about his feats on an Internet char room resulted in an FBI undercover investigation.
  • Two California teens admit hacking Pentagon computers. In February 1998, the FBI raided the homes of the teens and confiscated computing equipment believed to have been used to break into DOD unclassified networks.
  • In the spring of 1996, a small Knoxville, TN firm relied on a single employee to maintain all inventory and financial accounting records, including backups. The employee got wind he was going to be fired and planted an electronic timebomb that went off the first Monday of his firing. All backups were useless and the firm took weeks to recover.
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