U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Spies in the Wires

NCJ Number
Date Published
0 pages
This video cassette examines the vulnerability of electronic information processing to violations of privacy and various criminal offenses.
Experts discuss key security and privacy problems in electronic data processing. One problem considered is that of juvenile computer 'hackers' who access data systems through home computers and telephone modems. Curtailing this invasion of data systems is noted to be difficult, since the public does not consider these activities to be criminal, tending to admire the enterprising intellects of these young 'hackers.' The experts advise that this public attitude only encourages further experimentation in illegally accessing various computer data systems. Another security problem identified is computer fraud involving electronic funds transfer. The vulnerability of such transactions is noted to be their use of telephone lines, which can be accessed easily with the use of a modem, an electronic monitoring device, and a cheap FM radio transmitter. The final problem considered involves the vulnerability of data transmitted over radio wires. Although cryptographic codes are reported to have been developed to counter computer interception of such data, many are concerned about who would use these codes and for what purposes. Use by organized crime for illegal purposes is cited, as is use by the state to intrude in the private lives of citizens.