6.0 Article, View and Comment, by HIDAYAT

Article:Undercover chatroom work captures e-criminal.(Barrett Lyon, National Hi-Tech Crime Unit).

Investigative work by a US computer forensic specialist helped lead the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit and the FBI to a Russian gang responsible for launching denial of service attacks against online betting sites in a multimillion-pound extortion attempt last year.

Barrett Lyon, a specialist in preventing denial of service attacks, posed for months as a computer criminal to infiltrate a Russian crime syndicate which had brought down online gambling and retail sites.

His work helped detectives at the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit secure the arrest of a 21-year-old Russian mechanical engineering student Ivan Maksakov last year.

The investigation unraveled one of the most high-profile internet crime syndicates and set the scene for four further arrests, it emerged last week.

Lyon, now chief technology officer at Prolexic, which specialises in defending firms against denial of service attacks, used specially developed software to trace and monitor "bot nets" of hacked PCs used for the attacks.

"We located the bot nets because our systems took the attacks on behalf of customers. With all the information we gathered, we posed as bot nets ourselves," he said.

A breakthrough came when Lyon and his colleagues found details of the chat channel used by the gang hidden in bot net software downloaded from an infected machine. It emerged the gang was using internet relay chat to talk to each other and to control up to 80,000 bot nets.

"We were on the chatrooms where they were controlling the bots from, watching them talking about who they were going to attack next," he said.

Lyon posed as a hacker and, over the next few months, earned the trust of the criminals and built up a profile of them.

The gang remained out of reach until Maksakov made the mistake of logging into an internet chat session in March 2004 using his own IP address. Lyon traced Maksakov's address and phone number in Russia and sent off an urgent e-mail to the Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

"Ivan was the name that was given to us via exe during ICQ chat. His last name, address and phone number are now known."

Source Citation:Goodwin, Bill. "Undercover chatroom work captures e-criminal." Computer Weekly (April 5, 2005): 8. Computer Database. Gale. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. 27 Aug. 2009


Based on this article, basically it is a news about a succeed investigation conducted by a computer expert named Barrett Lyon, who is also a chief technology officer at Prolexic. His investigation had led a captured of a Russian gang who was responsible for launching denial of service attacks against online betting sites in a multimillion-pound extortion attempt before this.

The method used by Lyon was developed software, which can trace and monitor "bot nets" of hacked PCs used for the attacks. After Lyon located the bot nets later, he himself had posed as bot nets. He also posed as a hacker and earned the trust of the criminals and built up a profile of them. Until one day, the criminal made the mistake by logging into an internet chat session using his own IP address and he was traced. The criminal behind this was a 21-year-old Russian mechanical engineering student, named Ivan Maksakov.

There are few things that I would like to comment about. The first one is the criticality of cyber crime nowadays. We can see that how the criminal had launched denial of service attacks against sites, and take control of 80 000 bot nets, in order to deny the victims access to a particular resources.

Besides that, we should take notes that denial of service attacks can essentially stop your computer and network. It also may cause effectively havoc situation in the organization attacked. In brief conclusion, cyber crime is very dangerous and caused tones of problems when it occurred. So any way to stop the cyber criminal is a must.

The second point, I would like to highlight is, the importance of experts in this field. As we know, cyber crimes rates increasing each year, and so many types of crimes had been developed. So, it is a suggestion, for government of every country to be alert and take action by providing ways to train people in this field. It is vital for creation of software, programs and application to protect and also oppose against cyber crimes.

Last but not least, we should take into account that, most of cyber crimes include the youth. This is a serious matter; because it showed us through cyber there the youngster can commit serious offence. And should law still protect them? Should judge use their discretionary power in this matter? Question left unanswered.



bee ling said...

21 years old engineering student committed the crime...what the world today!!

N.HIDAYAT said...

yeah, that matter should be taking into account, as i had mentioned in the last para of my view, most of the cyber crimes include youngster, but then law protected them and judge prefer to use discretionary power when it involved young people

i do think, they feel like a chance should be given to em (youngster)...as they believe one of the function of law is to reform..so that's y they dun punish