Homeland Security and Emergency Management Article Review

Pages: 6 (2750 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Homeland Security & Emergency Management Overview


Code Wars: America's Cyber Threat

• Post a response to the following statement: "Cybercrime: Everyone is a target."

• In your post address describe and explain the roles and responsibilities of DHS and other government and private sector partnerships.

• In addition, identify what cyber threats you believe present the biggest security risk to our country? Why? Respond to at least two other learners.

The recent scandal over the theft of identities at Target over the Thanksgiving 'black Friday' weekend highlights the pervasiveness of identity theft in our society. "According to Target, hackers stole card numbers, security codes and other data from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards swiped at Target stores from the end of November through mid-December. This is the second-largest data breach in United States retail history" (Target admits encrypted PIN numbers stolen during credit card, debit card security breach, 2013). The idea that everyone is a potential target is underlined by the comprehensive nature of the attack -- all persons who used credit and debit cards during this period of time could potentially be affected. Not only were numbers stolen but other identifying pieces of information that could be attractive to identity thieves.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Article Review on Homeland Security & Emergency Management Assignment

DHS is mindful of the role the Internet can play in fostering crime. "From the C3 Cyber Crime Section, ICE identifies sources for fraudulent identity and immigration documents on the Internet. C3's Child Exploitation Section investigates large-scale producers and distributors of child pornography, as well as individuals who travel abroad for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors" (Combat cybercrime, 2014, DHS). The government has a responsibility to protect individual citizens through such constant monitoring; private entities such as Target likewise have a responsibility to protect vital consumer information. Working together to learn how enhance consumer safety in the future is likely to become more and more of an issue for private businesses.

Although it might seem that DHS' main mission is preventing cybercrimes which have the potential of facilitating terrorist activities, such as fabricating immigration papers or engaging in discussions online which could lead to attacks against the United States, its mission also must encompass cybercrimes directed at individuals. The 'borderless' nature of international cybercrime means that the DHS is in a uniquely advantageous place to reduce the risk posed by criminals using the Internet in criminal ways. And many of the threats used to secure private information can also be used on a wider scale by terrorists. For example, "Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)…are highly sophisticated and carefully constructed. The intention behind APT attacks is to gain access to a network and steal information quietly. They take a low-and-slow approach that often makes them difficult to detect, giving them a high likelihood of success" (Teller 2012). This is often used by identity thieves to steal credit card information but could also be used by terrorists to steal identities to obtain money for terrorist operations or to gain access to plans or top-secret areas.


AP: Target admits encrypted PIN numbers stolen during credit card, debit card security breach

(2013). The Denver Channel. Retrieved from: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/u-s-world/ap-target-admits-encrypted-pin-numbers-stolen-during-credit-card-debit-card-security-breach

Combat cybercrime. (2014). DHS. Retrieved from:


Teller, T. (2012). The biggest cyber security threats of 2013. Retrieved from:


M4D2: Cybersecurity and Criminal Justice System

Cybercrime presents many challenges for the criminal justice system. The fact that it is often international in scope and nature, for example, is frequently a problem in terms of determining jurisdiction. For the police, crimes which were once 'brick and mortar' (such as fencing of stolen merchandise) can now take place online. The courts are increasingly forced to deal with questions of international jurisdiction regarding crimes which have no clear borders -- a thief can steal someone's identity in another country virtually, and then sell the data to someone else halfway across the world he or she has never met in person.

According to David Wall, a criminology professor who delivered a valuable lecture in cyber security available online, "the public police role in policing the Internet, therefore, needs to be more than just simply about acquiring new knowledge and capacity, it should be about forging new relationships with the other nodes within the transnational and global networks of Internet security. To become effective, these new relationships will require a range of transformations in understanding and practice to take place in order to enhance the effectiveness and legitimacy of the nodal architecture" (Wall 2010). Wall offers his experience both 'in the field' and in academia to inform the debate over how to better police online crime and is a useful example of how the Internet can offer a virtual classroom to students and practitioners in the field, expanding the virtual database of knowledge on hand to criminology professionals.

However, as noted by online computer magazine Tech Republic, no matter how efficacious the police may be, there are always the challenges of jurisdiction posed by the court system. "Laws differ from state to state and nation to nation. An act that's illegal in one locale may not be against the law in another. This complicates things if the perpetrator is in a location where what he/she is doing isn't even against the law - even though it's a clear-cut crime in the location where the victim is" (Shinder 2011). For example, speech that is unfettered in the U.S. may be illegal in China; knockoffs of designer handbags for sale in Eastern Europe may be illegal copyright infringements in the U.S.

Finally, from the point-of-view of corrections, supervision of the behavior of convicted cyber criminals can be very difficult. As noted by Bowker (2010) in the online magazine Corrections, corrections officers must make monitoring of computer activities of cyber criminals part of their parole supervision, not simply the criminals' physical movements. In a survey of offenders, "Eleven percent of the respondents did everything, i.e. home/employment visits, third party contacts, computer searches and monitoring; Internet investigations, polygraph examinations, and location monitoring. Fourteen percent of the respondents report their agency has monitoring software installed by law enforcement. Another 11% used a private contractor to install monitoring software on offenders' computers" (Bowker 2010). Corrections agencies thus must anticipate that cybercrimes will take place and have provisions within their standard operating procedures to deal with the need to monitor cybercriminals.


Bowker, A. (2010). Survey of cyber-risk management practices in community corrections.

Corrections.com http://www.corrections.com/cybercrime/

Shinder, D. (2011). What makes cybercrime laws so difficult to enforce. Tech Republic.

Retrieved from:


Wall, David. (2010). Policing cybercrimes: Responding to the transnational challenges of Cybercrime. Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P) at Dartmouth

College. Retrieved from: http://www.ists.dartmouth.edu/events/abstract-wall.html

M4A1: Article Review: Role of Law Enforcement in the Homeland Security Enterprise

Marion, N., & Cronin, K. (2009, August). Law enforcement responses to homeland security initiatives: The case of Ohio. Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, 6(1), 4 -- 24. Retrieved from http://swacj.org/swjcj/archives/6.1/3%20SWJCJ%206(1)%20Marion_Cronin.pdf

According to Marion & Cronin (2009), after the events of 9/11, the Bush Administration undertook a comprehensive effort to bolster national security, beginning with the creation of the DHS. It established "a single, comprehensive management system" and "describes the way the federal departments and agencies will prepare for such a response plus prevention of terrorist incidents" (Marion & Cronin 2009:6). Efforts were made to create a comprehensive approach to terror management on every level of law enforcement. The importance of better training for law enforcement personnel was also recognized. "The NRP and the Patriot Act set forth specific requirements for training law enforcement officers to better deal with potential terrorist acts." (Marion & Cronin 2009:6). Financial assistance in general was increased for local police to aid in the war against terror. In fact, "much of the federal money for homeland security is given to the state, which is then responsible for disbursing it to local agencies" (Marion & Cronin 2009:10). This allows police agencies to be flexible and receptive to local needs.

To determine the extent to which the mission of DHS to empower law enforcement agencies was being realized, the authors elected to interview all of Ohio's law enforcement chiefs from 2007-2008 to determine if meaningful changes had been made in improving homeland security. "The purpose of the survey was to determine if state and local police agencies in Ohio are addressing the required changes and, if so, to what extent" (Marion & Cronin 2009:11). The results yielded the positive finding that 72% of police chiefs report increased communication with other Ohio law enforcement agencies, a relatively significant percentage. 29% reported the creation of contingency plans and 73% increased training levels of personnel, thanks to additional DHS support (Marion & Cronin 2009:12). However, funding was lacking in many instances when the state was analyzed as a whole. "According to the survey results, only 30% of police agencies across Ohio received some kind of financial assistance to help pay for the changes they have made" (Marion & Cronin 2009:13). Unsurprisingly, departments that had received… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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