An OK article that reiterates
what I have feared for quite some time. We've moved passed the nerdy age of hacking. They're becoming more sophisticated and zeroing in on profit...
Forget the outdated hacker image of a spotty anarchic teenager holed up in his bedroom defacing the Web sites of global organisations, today's hackers are not only older but more determined than ever to claim your cash and identity.
Scary article from the Post Dispatch
on internal database abuse, this time by a police officer.
...ran a heroin distribution ring that was violent and tightly knit, making it difficult for informers to penetrate it, federal authorities say.
The gang also had a secret weapon: It cultivated a police officer to dig into a law enforcement database to figure out which of its customers might be undercover informers...
But I'm not sure I agree with the chief of police's comments:
"This case personifies exactly the effectiveness of the system," the chief said. "We had intelligence that somebody was running people's names involved in narcotics cases without a legitimate reason, and we ran those names and found out who it was, and took the appropriate action."
Mokwa said officers use REJIS on a daily basis, and tightening security would be burdensome. "You have to rely upon the integrity of officers to use the system properly," he said. "To change it, you would have to restrict their access."
To suggest that there's no room for improvement in security is silly. Sure - they found out that someone was running inappropriate queries - but how long did it take them? What kind of details were they able to reveal? How could the whole thing have been prevented? Such an attitude cannot be comforting to undercover officers in the field...