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Archive for Sunday, July 27, 2008

Local police have own cyber-crime fighters

July 27, 2008

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Lawrence Police are ahead of the curve when it comes to fighting cyber crime.

The department has three detectives trained in computer forensics. They investigate crimes such as identity theft, child enticement, child exploitation, pornography and counterfeiting cases, said Sgt. Bill Cory, police spokesman.

"The increased use of computers, mobile telephones, digital cameras, the Internet and other portable electronic devices has forced law enforcement to expand its investigative capabilities," Cory said.

Lawrence is seeing a backlog of cases, similar to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Few law enforcement agencies have a unit dedicated to computer forensics, said Dave Schroeder, special agent in charge of the KBI's cyber crimes unit.

"It's very expensive to have your own dedicated unit," Schroeder said. "It's very cost-prohibitive for most departments."

One Lawrence Police detective is assigned full time to the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory in Kansas City, Mo., established by the FBI, which allows Lawrence Police use of federal forensic resources.

The other two Lawrence detectives assigned to computer forensics work out of Lawrence.

"Because of the ever-expanding crime on the Internet, it is very important for the Lawrence Police Department to maintain our computer forensic ability," Cory said. "This ensures that we can provide the citizens of Lawrence with a full range of police services."

While Cory said the technology, hardware, software and training for computer forensics were expensive and rare among law enforcement agencies, much of the technology acquisitions and training have been paid for with grant money.

Comments

Jim Phillips 5 years, 8 months ago

compmd-No argument here on any of your points.

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compmd 5 years, 8 months ago

Guardian,I quit doing computer crimes related work four years ago. It was...trying, to say the least. I did it as a private consultant. There's a certain feel-good factor from the work. But you are correct, the money in the private sector is WAY better than law enforcement wages. However, I think there is too much money spent on unnecessary whizbang equipment, and that money could be better spent on people who have a better knowledge of what needs to be done. On a related topic to "cyber incidents," I'm sure Alex can tell us all about the US Attorney going after his family for blog posts. :)

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Jim Phillips 5 years, 8 months ago

Alex, Alex, Alex! You make me lol out loud.

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Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 8 months ago

cyber incidents ?? the police need to focus on Actual incidents that happen in real life.NEXT the police will be fighting the war on Terror with Special Terror unit, O ' wait what about the Tax crime division where they shake down residence for more tax's..... no n o O O my favorite the (this is Real) the re-sale Evidence in the pawn shops division, Now thats a division that actually makes money for the LPD... or at least it used to until that division was exposed.......

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Jim Phillips 5 years, 8 months ago

compmd- I think you raise a valid point, but the problem lies in wages and benefits. Try to find someone competent in the computer field that would be willing to work for the pay offered by most municipalities. My understanding is private sector computer jobs like this pay a great deal more. It may not be the best utilization of resources to use officers in this area but it might be the best available option.

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compmd 5 years, 8 months ago

What do you think is a better idea, training police officers to do computer forensics, or training professionals in computer forensics, computer science, and electrical engineering in basic law enforcement concepts? Who do you think will be a more effective examiner?The RCFL is a fantastic resource, but its silly that it has no staff of its own; surrounding law enforcement agencies have to supply their own people to the lab. I can't imagine how much faster things would go if they had dedicated staff whose job it was to be a computer geek, rather than a cop trying to be a computer geek. I have nothing against the law enforcement people that work in this field, I've met several and have great respect for them. But I think their jobs would be a whole lot easier if they could have help from civilian professionals. The FBI has a vetted group of civilians that they can go to for help, maybe state and local LE departments can learn from that. Sigh...brings back memories of the good old days...its been too long since the days of fighting off script kiddies, taking down botnet controllers, and defending against hackers.

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pace 5 years, 8 months ago

Very odd, when a friend called with a cyber incident, they told her to call the fcc? or the state attorney generals office, they didnÂ't do computer crime? Why are there no examples of what types of issues/cases are addressed by this unit. Odd that missing. Where is the bragging of a case solved? What kind of cases do they include? Maybe it is only the Olin anti terrorist and maybe the pediphile catcher program and does not include consumer, stalking, or fraud crimes. We don know because they did not tell us. The LPD needs to modernize their communication and not consider the entire community as someone that does not need to know what is going on.

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blessed3x 5 years, 8 months ago

Jaylee and Logrithmic,I don't usually call people names, so I won't do it here, but you two take the cake! I had to reread the article to find where it stated the police were hacking into emails or the like. Notta! Internet crime is skyrocketing. Would you rather the police told victims of internet crimes to run up an alley and holler fish? What about the perverts caught with information on computers? Wouldn't it be nice to have someone with the ability to retrieve this data? At least Logrithmic seems to have some slight amount of common sense. Jaylee, your tin foil hat is on too tight.Log wrote..."I wish we could vote for where our tax dollars should be used - but it seems like we must continue to rely on "representative" government that really doesn't represent anyone at all:"I don't think you would be happy if we voted on everything. The citizens of Lawrence voted on the SLT that you are so against. Do you concede that it should have been built since they voted on it? The vast majority of Americans in recent polling support closing and securing our borders. How'd you be with that? Do you think that the majority of Americans would vote to fund the National Endowment for the Arts? How about all the little pork projects your buddy Obama and the Clintons have supported? Shoot how about all the pork projects all the fools in Congress have supported on both sides of the aisle?I fear you would not like a true Democracy, Logrithmic.

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CheyenneWay 5 years, 8 months ago

I for one hope this stops the tragedy online known as the "Flame War"! This is not a victimless crime and my mom will log in and flame anyone to ashes who disagrees with me!

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Pudgy1 5 years, 8 months ago

"BTW, staffing three full-time officers on this is really extreme and a poor use of limited budget. One should be more than enough. Just my two cents:."Gee, logrithmic, I'm glad you know all about cyber crimes and how many occur-thereby making you an expert at how many officers are needed to investigate them. I'm sure the Police Chief routinely assigns more people to areas where they aren't needed, just to give you something to crow about! I think you're off base here. With one of the three Lawrence Officers assigned to the FBI Forensic thing, that leaves two to cover all of Lawrence. I'd bet there's more cyber crime than you think. And that's MY two cents worth.

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Jaylee 5 years, 8 months ago

"I wish we could vote for where our tax dollars should be used - but it seems like we must continue to rely on "representative" government that really doesn't represent anyone at all:."HO HO HO! oh logrithmic!!! the government could just as easily rig up a voting process on a bill as the presidential election! oh how much bush's twice baked beans make me cry every night.... seriously though, i thought he was going to pass a law allowing himself a third term. crosses fingers its not over yet!

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logrithmic 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree Smitty. When the local police begin to act as "thought crime" wardens, it's gone too far.Sure there are legitimate "cyber crimes." Spam, financial scams, etc., where people are hurt in the real world. As long as such efforts are directed against these "real" crimes, it makes sense. BTW, staffing three full-time officers on this is really extreme and a poor use of limited budget. One should be more than enough. Just my two cents....I wish we could vote for where our tax dollars should be used - but it seems like we must continue to rely on "representative" government that really doesn't represent anyone at all....

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Jaylee 5 years, 8 months ago

"forced law enforcement to expand its investigative capabilities," ahhhhhhhhh!!i want to believe this statement was made with the most genuine intentions but all it made me think was that this has become a standard casual wave bye to liberty. its like the new phone-tapping or something... i just cant get fully behind it ya know?my grandchildren will probably have locator chips implanted at birth and mandatory microphones and cameras on their lapels because it became a necessary step in the protection of the american people.when it boils down to it, i still feel that if you have to choose between security and liberty, a person who would abandon liberty would deserve neither.thats a thomas jefferson quote i never quite remember correctly but you get the point and ill stop acting like our government is the new nazi regime. i just dont want the next step to be reckless computer invasion like with phones and airport protocol, but i feel helpless against it even if it were to occur.machina.

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been_there 5 years, 8 months ago

I would rather the LPD be ahead of the game rather than so far behind it would take a major effort to catch up like we are with the streets.

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skinny 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Lawrence Rules. Smitty does not like the Police! It wouldn't make any difference who the Chief was. Smitty would not like them.Here come the black helicopters!

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smitty 5 years, 8 months ago

Keeping this out of the budget article but still justifying the high and unusual expense by the LPD is one way for us to read between the lines.*While Cory said the technology, hardware, software and training for computer forensics were expensive and rare among law enforcement agencies, much of the technology acquisitions and training have been paid for with grant money.**Justify these experts expenses vs an example like yesterday's LTE that gave graphic examples of a basic police service that has been mostly ignored, traffic control. The traffic patrol cars sit in the LE center's parking lot most of the time, not in use. Do we have a shortage of officers due to the way Olin chooses to manage? Well yes, hell yes, by the way he assigns duty and the way he trains, and the way he budgets. So why doesn't the city reel this guy in? Is Olin the local J Edgar Hoover, with files for the purposes of blackmail? That is a question I do not know the answer to but logic leads to these thoughts after watching the interaction of the city and a corrupt LPD for my time in Lawrence..

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