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Electronically Compromised Companies’ Dilemma, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 547

Essay

Abstract

A cyberworld dilemma exists between a company that has been hacked and law enforcement authorities.  Often, when a company is hacked, it avoids reporting the crime to the police or FBI because of a myriad of reasons.  Some companies feel it will lose investors, while others feel it is a cost versus benefit issue because of the time and money involved in discovery and testimony.  Others feel that authorities will freeze their computers for weeks as they conduct investigations.  Some cringe at the federal agents looking through their network files because of illegal tax evasion.  Nevertheless, this can be serious if it involves terrorism, but most of the time, it is only a bored teenager challenging his wit.  Law enforcement should work to communicate better with local businesses, and internet police should be created that know law, the art of prosecution and computer science.

Electronically Compromised Companies’ Dilemma: Discouraging Police Investigations and Encouraging Hack Reports

When a hacker illegally compromises a company computer, this crime often goes unreported to police.  Some look to avoid embarrassment or litigation; others dread financial loss if word should reach their investors (Hamblen, 1998, p. 8).  Another reason is their fear of the law freezing their network system for weeks during investigation—a cost concern (Breidenbach, 1998, p. 37).  A third reason is complexity of jurisdiction; i.e. no geography exists in cyberspace:  hackers can hop over numerous jurisdictions in seconds (Breidenbach, p. 37).  However, the main reason is that companies make decisions based upon cost versus benefits.  For example, if a company computer is hacked, unless it escalates, the company will not notify police because sworn statements and court testimony all take time, effort and money and this often sinks a medium-sized or small company (Cross, 2008, p. 117).  Still, managers do not want to share the information stored on a company network with police, perhaps because of illegal or “creative” tax strategies used by the company (Cross, p. 117).

There are two sides to this issue:  The FBI needs to know the composite of a hacker—is it a world-renowned terrorist or just a teen prankster?  More than likely, it is a pastime for bored adolescents and teens.  DeGeorge (2003) discussed the view of the hacker as a superhero:  “… [S]ome people consider those who compromise computer networks … [to be] heroes who have shown that the networks … are vulnerable” (p. 33).  Nevertheless, this crime needs lawyers that are part prosecutor and part computer scientist.  Companies sorely need a national task force made up of state and local jurisdictions so cases can go to one particular court (DeGeorge, p. 37).

Also, law enforcement should try to foster good relationships with businesses so companies will not hesitate to come forward when they are hacked (DeGeorge, p. 37).  Another way to encourage a company to report a hacker is to inform it on current regulations.  Federal rules can give a judge the discretion to hide a company’s identity—at least until the matter is solved (Hamblen, p. 8).

References

Breidenbach, S.  (1998, Feb. 16).  Outlaws on the loose.  Network World, p. 36.

Cross, M.  (2008).  Scene of the cybercrime 2nd ed.)Burlington, MA:  Syngress Publishing.

DeGeorge, R. T.  (2003).  The ethics of information technology and business.  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hamblen, M.  (1998, April 13).  FBI asks companies to report hack attacks.  Computerworld, 8.

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