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How Cyber Police Catches Digital Criminals

How Cyber police catches digital criminals

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The number of cybercrimes in the world is growing, and with the advent of the metaverse, fraudsters will have even more opportunities to get easy money. We tell who investigates digital offenses.

Who is a cybercop or Cyber police?

Cyber cops are IT security professionals empowered to detect and stop cybercrime. They work in government law enforcement agencies and investigate cases related to digital crimes: data theft, hacking, cyber-attacks, creation, and distribution of malware.

"How Cyber police catches digital criminals"
How Cyber police catches digital criminals

What does a cyber cop do:

The main task of a cyber police officer, or cyber investigator, is to fight hackers. In Russia, the number of cyber-attacks increased by 54% from 2020 to 2021. Criminals can use phishing links, create and distribute viruses and ransomware, hack websites and email accounts, “destroy” web pages using DDoS attacks, and steal information from bank cards.

Such offenses are committed to getting money from the victims, for entertainment, or for ideological reasons. So, in March 2022, hackers from the Anonymous group hacked the websites of Russian state media and reported the theft of 800 GB of data from Roskomnadzor.

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Cybercops start criminal cases and look for traces left by hackers in order to find criminals. Often this leads to high-profile lawsuits and long terms. Law enforcement cybersecurity specialists use highly specialized knowledge and tools that are not publicly disclosed because this can harm the work of the investigation.

In addition, cyber police investigate incidents related to the violation of copyright and related rights, illegal access to commercial channels of satellite and cellular communications, as well as the creation and distribution of child pornography.

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Skills required in the profession:

A cyber police officer needs to have a legal education, as well as to understand IT and operational-search activities. Among the skills and knowledge that will help build a career:

-programming and understanding the operation of devices and software;

-knowledge of legislation and criminal procedure code;

-analytical, synthetic, and critical thinking;

-knowledge of the cybercrime agenda;

-knowledge of the basics of psychology;

-understanding how e-commerce works.

Trends and directions of the profession:

"How Cyber police catches digital criminals"
How Cyber police catches digital criminals

Previously, the cyber police dealt with relatively understandable and familiar crimes, albeit related to innovative technologies. The main problem was the transition of more and more areas of life to the digital field and the emergence of new tools and methods of hacking. But in these areas, both the skills of cyber police and the capabilities of protection systems grew proportionally.

Now, with the advent of the metaverses, such law enforcement officers face additional challenges: regulation of sales chains, cryptocurrencies, the digital real estate market, new opportunities for identity and data theft, and work with NFT art. The more new virtual realities will be included in the area of responsibility of the cyber police, the more fully these worlds will become part of our everyday life.

Where did the profession come from?

Such professionals have been around for a long time. For example, in the Russian structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs there is Directorate “K”, and in the FSB – Center for Information Security. But with the development of technology, countries are paying more and more attention to the regulation of the digital environment. Thus, by 2025, the Polish authorities are going to separate the entire cyber police into a separate unit.

At the end of 2020, the Russian law enforcement system announced the creation of a new cyber police unit. However, judging by the list of alleged tasks of this department, designated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is more likely to take on the work of media policy. Now such specialists work at the Center for Combating Extremism.

How to become a cyber cop?

There are special cyber police training programs. For example, at the Moscow University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, one can master the specialties “Information Technology Security in Law Enforcement” and “Information Security of Automated Systems”. You can also enroll in the specialty “Legal support of national security” with the profile “Information technology security in law enforcement” at VSUJU (RPA of the Ministry of Justice of Russia).

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