Police in corporate hacker crackdown

Monday, 24 June 2002, 10:24 AM EST

Det Sgt Dave Titheridge, who heads the computer examination unit at force headquarters, said: "We have had a substantial growth in the number of cases of hacking reported to us in the last 12 months.

"In the past, companies felt there was a stigma attached to being victims, as it showed their security was vulnerable. But they are starting to come forward in greater numbers."

The unit is manned by police officers, and support staff recruited from outside. One was a PC World manager, another ran his own company installing networks for small businesses. Det Con Jim Houston, 45, is the latest recruit and will look at companies' internal networks, helping firms prevent abuse, and probe Internet crime, hacking and cases of e-mail harassment.

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