RealNews

Nature of the internet makes cybercriminals hard to catch

In 1990, Robert Morris Jr carved his name in cybercrime history when he became the first person prosecuted under America’s 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. There haven’t been a lot of others since. Professionals who follow the hazy world of computer viruses and worms bemoan that, but they also doubt it can be helped much. “Cybercrime is infinitely more difficult to prosecute than physical crime,” said Matthew Yarbrough, a Dallas, Texas lawyer who created the Cybercrimes Task Force at the Dallas US attorney’s office in 1997. “If someone doesn’t brag about it, it’s damn near impossible to catch these people.” The latest high-profile worm, MyDoom or Novarg, hit last week and by Wednesday had infected about 20 per cent of the emails in the United States. The very nature of the internet, with its far-reaching links and easy anonymity, offers the opportunity for hackers and virus writers to launch attacks and disappear in an instant, said Yarbrough, who now heads the Cyber Law Group in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson. Full Story

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