Law enforcement officers trained to tackle cybercrime

Photo: UNODC: cybercrime image19 June 2009 - As technologies become ever more sophisticated, so too do the modus operandi of criminals, who are increasingly using information and communication technologies to carry out such illegal activities as fraud, online child sexual exploitation and abuse and phishing, to name only a few.

As part of its growing number of activities to tackle cybercrime, UNODC recently hosted a one-week training workshop for law enforcement officers on live data forensics, a subject area which looks at ways in which data can be seized from a suspect's computer while it is still running, thus avoiding the need to seize the computer and take it to a laboratory for analysis.

UNODC is working closely with the Irish Police Service, which was recently awarded funding under the European Commission Prevention of and Fight against Crime (ISEC) programme to develop and deliver cybercrime training for all 30 European Union and candidate countries. Experts from Europol and INTERPOL, representatives of Internet service providers and academics are also involved in the programme.

While demand for such training is high, skilled trainers are scarce. The programme will deliver three training courses and a Master of Science course in forensic computing and cybercrime investigation, the latter offered by University College Dublin, Ireland. There are also plans to develop the course in other languages with the aim of reaching out to a wider audience. UNODC has agreed to host one of the three new courses in order to provide knowledge and skills in specific areas of forensic investigation.

Photo: UNODC: Participants at the Live Data Forensics Training, Vienna, June 2009While the UNODC training course will focus on the European Union countries, UNODC will continue to work with the ISEC programme to extend such training and sustainable capacity-building to developing countries.

Cybercrime, also known as computer crime, e-crime, hi-tech crime or electronic crime, generally refers to any criminal activity in which a computer or network is the source, tool, target or place of a crime. Such crimes may be divided broadly into two categories: the first covers crimes that target computer networks or devices directly, while the second refers to those facilitated by computer networks or devices, the primary target of which is independent of the computer network or device.