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2012年10月17日 (水)

PC乗っ取り 官民連携で摘発体制の強化を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 17, 2012)
Cybercrime crackdown requires joint public-private effort
PC乗っ取り 官民連携で摘発体制の強化を(10月16日付・読売社説)

There has been a recent string of incidents in which online threats were sent via remotely controlled personal computers infected with viruses.

The owners of these computers were placed at risk of being charged for crimes they did not commit. The police must strengthen their investigative capabilities to deal with this new type of cybercrime and leave no stone unturned in their search for the true perpetrator.

The Osaka and Mie prefectural police and the Metropolitan Police Department have released three men who had been arrested on suspicion of sending indiscriminate murder and bomb threat messages via their computers and forcibly obstructing business.

In a case handled by the Kanagawa prefectural police involving an online threat to attack a primary school, it seems increasingly possible that a university student arrested for making online threats might not have been the person who sent the messages.

TBS Television, Inc. has reportedly received an e-mail sent by a person claiming responsibility for these incidents.

The computers of the three released men were likely being controlled remotely after being infected with viruses, and criminal threats were posted on online message boards without their knowledge.


Virus infections overlooked

Police identified the computers in question as belonging to the three men via their Internet protocol (IP) addresses. But they failed to detect that the computers were infected with viruses that enabled them to be remotely controlled by an outsider. Investigators discovered this only after arresting the men.

If a computer is being controlled remotely, arresting the perpetrator will be impossible by tracing its IP address alone. The recent incidents show there are limits to conventional cybercrime investigative methods.

The threats were posted on message boards via the computers of the three men via servers in foreign countries, including the United States and Germany. Identifying the perpetrator will be a painstaking task. Nevertheless, computer hacking cannot be allowed to go unchecked because it raises the risk of people being falsely accused of crimes.

The National Police Agency has hired engineers who studied cyber-attack countermeasures at private companies and assigned them to prefectural police headquarters. More specialized staff like this are needed.


Self-defense vital

We think the public sector must cooperate more closely with the private sector and harness the expertise of firms with advanced cyberdefense technology. A system that enables the public and private sectors to cooperate in tackling cybercrime needs to be quickly put in place.

Computer users, for their part, must stay aware of the importance of taking precautions to protect themselves. The computers in question were infected with viruses hidden in free software available on online bulletin boards. In a case overseas, a third party turned on an infected computer's camera without the owner's knowledge to look into their room.

There are some effective ways to keep viruses at bay: Do not open suspicious e-mails; avoid browsing suspicious sites; do not download programs unless necessary; regularly upgrade antivirus software; and turn off your computer when it is not being used.

It is essential that each computer owner protect their own PC by properly taking basic precautions.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 16, 2012)
(2012年10月16日01時29分  読売新聞)


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