By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
INTERPOL’S cyber crime investigative course, which aims to equip regional law enforcement agencies with skills necessary to identify and address crimes perpetrated on cyber platforms, is currently underway at the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s East Street headquarters.
During the opening ceremony of the five-day conference, National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage underscored the importance of both Interpol and the need for global efforts to combat cyber criminality.
The Bain and Grants Town MP praised the international law enforcement agency for its choice of the Bahamas to host the conference.
“Cyber crime skills are critical for all police officers due to emerging global cyber security threats,” he said, while applauding Interpol for its recognition of the “significant threat” and the agency’s move to ensure that police forces around the world are trained and prepare to address cyber threats.
This week’s conference is being funded by the government of Canada and will continue through Friday.
Interpol’s head of Cyber Crime Training Alexandru Caciuloiu said the ingenuity offered by the conference was an opportunity the agency could not pass up.
He said that in a world with growing economies and globalised information technologies, cyber crimes pose an increasing threat.
“Today anyone can become a potential victim of cyber crimes – governments, companies, private citizens,” he said.
“Cyber criminals know no bounds when it comes to sharing resources and expertise to their advantage. Similarly we have to work together closely to share information and expertise to counter the increasing trends in cyber attacks,” added Mr Caciuloiu.
Interpol has specified that cyber crime is a fast-growing area, with more and more criminals exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities that know no borders.
Dr Nottage, stressing the need for this week’s course, supported his premise with recent comments made by Interpol’s Cyber Innovation and Outreach Project Manager Steve Honiss in an interview with CSO Australia.
In that interview Mr Honiss said the rapidly changing face of cyber crime had pushed authorities to tap academic expertise for initiatives such as a recently developed programme for training law enforcement investigators in the mechanisms of the dark-web favoured by many criminals.
According to Dr Nottage, Mr Honiss went on to suggest that cyber crime was no longer characterised by online only attacks from rogue hackers in Australia.
Rather, established criminal elements were increasingly challenging conventional enforcement structures with transitional malware activities and the use of crypto currencies that defy mechanisms for taking physical currency movements.
“Technology has grown rapidly over the past few years,” said Dr Nottage.
“The world today is much different with the ubiquitous computer and smart phone dictating the way we communicate and work.”
“The general view held by experts and practitioners the world over is that in this increasingly (digital) world, we will face an unprecedented level of criminality with a new breed of criminals in cyberspace.”
“There is a new technological community of criminals with global reach and increasing sophistication who can do untold harm to our critical infrastructures with resulting catastrophic effects,” he said.
He further highlighted that similar to the way countries have often called for greater community policing initiatives to combat street level offences, there is now a call for community policing for cyberspace.
According to Dr Nottage, the impetus for this wave of criminality is financial motivation.
He noted recent statements by the City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard, who warned that cyber crime would soon be more lucrative than the international drug trade.
The five-day conference brings together police forces from Barbados, British Virgin Island, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Saint Lucia and the Bahamas.