‘Climate of fear’ is best weapon against cyber crime

Cyber crime

The biggest weapon the police have in tackling cyber crime is creating a "climate of fear," according to a senior officer.

Paul Hoare, senior manager at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), told collected security industry experts at the eCrime congress today that while traditional "tired and tested" methods had helped the police in the past, it was imperative cyber criminals feared prosecution.

"The considerable success global law enforcement has had against e-criminals in recent years has been achieved in spite of the landscape in which we work rather than because of it," he said. "Most of the successes have been built upon the traditional model of arrest, prosecution and incarceration."

"These methods are tried and tested though. The crucial tactic in law enforcement's armoury is ensuring we create a climate of fear, where criminals in the virtual world understand we will find them, prosecute them and they will face long periods of imprisonment."

Although having worked on tackling this type of crime for almost twenty years, Hoare admitted this top tactic wasn't enough to see off online fraudsters.

Instead, law enforcement agencies needed to work with groups such as ICANN to secure the Domain Name System (DNS) and ensure criminals do not register dodgy domains to aid them in their crimes.

"I believe there is no silver bullet to solve internet crime," he added, "but the solutions to many of the problems can be [changed] through working in partnerships."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.