UK Police Offer Cyber-Crime Victim Firms Anonymity

Tuesday, 10 December 2002, 10:49 AM EST

Britain's top digital crime-fighting force said on Monday it is prepared to grant businesses victimized by digital attacks full anonymity if they come forward, an effort to jumpstart investigations into the growing wave of cyber crime. Fearing a dent in their corporate reputation and loss of customers, businesses are typically reluctant to report such crimes, leaving police at a disadvantage.

"High-tech crime is increasing significantly," said Detective Chief Superintendent Len Hynds, head of the UK's National Hi-Tech Unit, a 19-month-old force developed to tackle cyber crime in Britain.

He said 89 percent of U.K. businesses say they have been victimized by at least one incident of cyber crime.

Speaking at the E-Crime Congress in London, Hynds said solving cyber crimes -- the act of exploiting a computer network to conduct a variety of illegal activities from knocking out a Web site to committing corporate fraud -- is possible.

"But only if the corporate sector and law enforcement work together," he added.

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