Term Paper: Cyber Crime Task Force

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[. . .] In fact Schnucks Fresh Goods & Pharmacy in St. Louis was victimized by criminals in 2013. This is a classic example of how the task force can become effective, because the commercial stores (like Target and other retail firms) are vulnerable. Schnucks was attacked in 2013 and an estimated 2.4 million debit and credit card information were compromised between December 2012 and March, 2013, according to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Gustin, 2013). How this works for the criminals -- and why the task force is so important in this aspect of cyber criminality -- is they hack into a vulnerable site where credit and debit cards are available. Then they insert "random access malware" into the site, which steals credit and debit card information.

Cyber Crime Task force Structure

It should be modeled after other similar task forces, notably the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) -- a joint effort of St. Louis area sheriff and police department partnerships, along with 63 agencies in Missouri -- and the InfraGard task force, identified earlier in this paper. It should embrace all local law enforcement groups, the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office in St. Louis, key educational institutions, and private citizens (published authors and other experts) with knowledge of cyber crime. It should not be so wieldy that it becomes a bureaucratic monster, and it should select individual committee members for research and action.

What personnel and skills will be needed to investigate cyber crimes?

Computer forensics -- dealing with evidence and legal processes -- must be a key part of the task force's efforts. A computer forensics specialist "…will take several careful steps to identify & #8230;and retrieve possible evidence" and also he or she will locate "hidden" or "deleted" or "encrypted" files (Osuagwu, et al., 2010). Personnel that are familiar with intelligence, security, and investigations will be needed as well. Personnel with experiencing in rooting out those engaged in child pornography and credit card theft -- and those familiar with how to protect against unlawful intrusion into computers -- will be critical to the success of the task force.

What kind of equipment needs to be available for the task force?

What is needed to develop a cyber crime lab that can do forensics?

A computer forensics lab will be necessary for the task force to be effective. Clearly there needs to be better protection for credit card and debit card holders, and one solution that the task force could promote is the use of "chip and pin" as a replacement for magnetic stripe cards (Buck, 2014). The tiny microchip on cards prevents theft in most cases, but only 1% of U.S. credit cards in the U.S. use this technology (Buck). . And some of the software that should be in place includes the DIBS Mobile Forensic Workstation and DIBS Rapid Action Imaging Device (RAID) (Dibsforensics.com). Also, according to Greg Dominquez, the lab should include: a) an autopsy and sleuth kit; b) Technology Pathways (ProDiscover); c) WinHex; d) Unix, Linux, and Mac OS work "very well for forensics"; e) Blackbag technologies; f) ASRData; SubRosaSoft; g) Paraben; and h) Guidance software (Dominquez, 2007). These systems are needed because: hackers and other cyber criminals are often one step ahead of law enforcement and other agencies; it should be the goal of the task force to get a step ahead of cyber criminals.

What federal agencies in the St. Louis area should be involved in the task force?

Of course the FBI should be heavily involved as a resource in the task force that this paper is reviewing and creating. The existing Cybercrime Task Force in the Eastern District of Missouri is an arm of the United States Attorney's office. The U.S. Attorney's office prosecutes computer hackers under Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1030 (sentences range up to 20 years in prison). Theft of information from illegal intrusions into computers is prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office under Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2319 (infringement of copyright); Section 2320 (trafficking in counterfeit goods and trademark violations); and Section 1832 (theft of trade secrets). The Cybercrime Task Force in the Eastern District of Missouri (including St. Louis) also prosecutes those who attempt (or commit) to engage in sexual acts with children (through the use of the Internet).

What legislation is needed to combat cyber criminality and to bolster the task force?

There are a number of laws on the books at the federal level and new laws are being introduced that could (and should) be effective at combating cyber crimes. When lives are threatened, local police should be given the authority to investigate criminal activities without court approval. Without being in violation of the 14th Amendment (the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizures), police at the local level need to be given the legal tools to root out the criminals that are predators for the young children in the St. Louis area. Some state laws are on the books at this time relative to cyber crimes, but local ordinances that pertain to school bullying online, online threats to children and others, can also be passed. In the peer-reviewed Communications of the ACH (Bhaskar, 2006) the author explains that knowledge of computer forensics is "very limited" in the law enforcement community. There is uncertainty among investigators as to "…ensure digital evidence" will stand up against "judicial scrutiny if the matter goes to trial" (Bhaskar, 82). Legislation should be passed at the state level that will help local law enforcement conduct legal research without fear of having the case thrown out in court.


The poor shape that America's defense against cyber crimes is in can be partly blamed on the fact that "…the analytical framework used to understand the problem is incomplete" (Sales, 2013). In fact the issues of law and policy vis-a-vis cyber security are "undertheorized," because government agencies and legal scholars are approaching the problem from the perspective of "criminal law or the law of armed conflict," Sales writes in the peer-reviewed Northwestern University Law Review. What is needed, Sales explains, is an "entirely new approach," and one of those approaches would be from a "regulatory standpoint" expands the "range of possible responses" (Sales, 1508). What is also needed at every community level (including St. Louis) is a task force that is given authority and legal backup to train private and public leaders, to investigate, to prosecute, and to punish (through the proper channels) those committing crimes on the Internet. To restate the thesis to this paper, unless strategies and policies are put in place, cyber criminals will continue to severely impact web-based organizations, businesses, and governments as well.

Works Cited

Bhaskar, R. (2006). State and Local Law Enforcement is not Ready for a Cyber Katrina.

Communications of the ACM, 49(2), 81-83.

Buck, C. (2014). Credit Cards to get security chip upgrade. The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved

February 10, 2014, from http://www.sacbee.com.

Chang, J., Venkatasubramarian, K.K., West, A.G., and Lee, I. (2013). Analyzing and defending against web-based malware. ACM Computer Survey, 45(4).

CNBC.com. (2014). Cyber-crime is 'greatest threat' to companies' survival: EY. Retrieved

February 9, 2014, from http://www.cnbc.com.

DIBS. (2011). Computer Forensic Equipment. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www.dibsforensics.com.

Dominquez, G. (2007). Equipping A Forensic Lab. Techno Forensics 2007. Retrieved February

10, 2014, from http://www.thetrainingco.com.

Gilbreth, T. (2012). Missouri is a Front-Runner in New Crime-Fighting Frontier. Missouri Sheriffs Association. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www.mosheriffs.com.

Gustin, G. (2013). Schnucks: Crooks who stole Schnucks data lie far from law enforcement's

Grasp. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www.stltoday.com.

InfraGard. (2013). Learn more about InfraGard. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www.infragard.org.

Lipton, J.D. (2011). Combating Cyber-Victimization. Berkeley Technology Law Journal,


Lukasik, S.J. (2011). Protecting Users of the Cyber Commons. Communications of the ACM.

54(9), 54-61.

Mueller, R.S. (2013). The Cyber Threat -- Planning for the Way Ahead. InfraGard. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www.infragard.org.

Osuagwu, O.E., Ogiemien, T., and Okide, S. (2010). Deploying Forensics Science & Technology

For Resolving National Cyber-Security Challenges. Journal of Mathematics and Technology,

Vol. 3. ISSN: 2078-0257.

RT.com. (2014). Target part of a broader cyber-attack,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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