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Computer Crime In The 2000

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Computer Crime In The 2000's

We're being ushered into the digital frontier. It's a cyberland with incredible promise and untold dangers. Are we prepared ? It's a battle between modern day computer cops and digital hackers. Essentially just think what is controlled by computer systems, virtually everything.

By programming a telephone voice mail to repeat the word yes over and over again a hacker has beaten the system. The hacker of the 2000's is increasingly becoming more organized very clear in what they're looking for and very, very sophisticated in their methods of attack.. As hackers have become more sophisticated and more destructive, governments, phone companies and businesses are struggling to defend themselves.

In North America the telecommunications industry estimates long distance fraud costs five hundred million perhaps up to a billion every year, the exact the exact figures are hard to be sure of but in North America alone phone fraud committed by computer hackers costs three, four maybe even up to five billion dollars every year. Making an unwitting company pay for long distance calls is the most popular form of phone fraud today. The first step is to gain access to a private automated branch exchange known as a "PABX" or "PBX". One of these can be found in any company with twenty or more employees. A "PABX" is a computer that manages the phone system including it's voice mail. Once inside a "PABX" a hacker looks for a phone whose voice mail has not yet been programmed, then the hacker cracks it's access code and programs it's voice mail account to accept charges for long distance calls, until the authorities catch on, not for a few days, hackers can use voice mail accounts to make free and untraceable calls to all over the world. The hackers that commit this type of crime are becoming increasingly organized. Known as "call cell operators" they setup flyby night storefronts were people off the street can come in and make long distance calls at a large discount, for the call cell operators of course the calls cost nothing, by hacking into a PABX system they can put all the charges on the victimized companies tab. With a set of stolen voice mail access codes known as "good numbers" hackers can crack into any phone whenever a company disables the phone they're using. In some cases call cell operators have run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in long distance charges, driving businesses and companies straight into bankruptcy. Hacking into a PABX is not as complicated as some people seem to think. The typical scenario that we find is an individual who has a "demon dialer" hooked up to their personal home computer at home that doesn't necessarily need to be a high powered machine at all but simply through the connection of a modem into a telephone line system. Then this "demon dialer" is programmed to subsequently dial with the express purpose of looking for and recording dialtone. A demon dialer is a software program that automatically calls thousands of phone numbers to find ones that are connected to computers. A basic hacker tool that can be downloaded from the internet. They are extremely easy programs to use. The intention is to acquire dialtone, that enables the hacker to move freely through the telephone network. It's generally getting more sinister. We are now seeing a criminal element now involved in term of the crimes they commit, the drugs, money laundering etc. These people are very careful they want to hide their call patterns so they'll hire these people to get codes for them so they can dial from several different calling locations so they cannot be detected.

The worlds telephone network is a vast maze, there are many places to hide but once a hacker is located the phone company and police can track their every move. The way they keep track is by means of a device called a "DNR" or a dial number recorder. This device monitors the dialing patterns of any suspected hacker. It lists all the numbers that have been dialed from their location, the duration of the telephone call and the time of disconnection. The process of catching a hacker begins at the phone company's central office were thousands of lines converge to a main frame computer, the technicians can locate the exact line that leads to a suspected hackers phone line by the touch of a button. With the "DNR" device the "computer police" retrieve the number and also why the call was made and if it was made for illegal intention they will take action and this person can be put in prison for up to five years and be fined for up to $ 7500.00.

The telephone network is a massive electronic network that depends on thousands of computer run software programs and all this software in theory can be reprogrammed for criminal use. The telephone system is in other words a potentially vulnerable system, by cracking the right codes and inputting the correct passwords a hacker can sabotage a switching system for millions of phones, paralyzing a city with a few keystrokes.

Security experts say telephone terrorism poses a threat, society hasn't even begun to fathom ! You have people hacking into systems all the time. There were groups in the U.S.A in 1993 that shutdown three of the four telephone switch stations on the east coast, if they had shutdown the final switch station as well the whole east coast would have been without phones. Things of this nature can happen and have happened in the past. Back in the old days you had mechanical switches doing crossbars, things of that nature. Today all telephone switches are all computerized, they're everywhere. With a computer switch if you take the first word "computer" that's exactly what it is, a switch

being operated by a computer. The computer is connected to a modem, so are you and all the hackers therefore you too can run the switches.

Our generation is the first to travel within cyberspace, a virtual world that exists with all the computers that form the global net. For most people today cyberspace is still a bewildering and alien place. How computers work and how they affect our lives is still a mystery to all but the experts, but expertise doesn't necessarily guarantee morality. Originally the word hacker meant a computer enthusiasts but now that the internet has revealed it's potential for destruction and profit the hacker has become the outlaw of cyberspace. Not only do hackers commit crimes that cost millions of dollars, they also publicize their illegal techniques on the net where they innocent minds can



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