FBI COMPUTERS FOR NBI VS. CYBERCRIMES

Manila, May 5, 2003 -- The National Bureau of Investigation hopes to get access to state-of-the-art computers by the end of the year promised by the US government as local investigators struggle to fight off increasing incidence of computer crimes.

The NBI Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division (AFCCD) head Efren Meneses said his men are now undergoing training to man the computer center, soon to be put-up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The computer center will be jointly operated by the NBI and Philippine National Police experts.

"The FBI acknowledges that cases of computer hacking, fraud or pornography are often traced back to the Philippines. So they need our help," said Meneses.

Meneses said that since the discovery of the Lovebug virus and its alleged author Onel de Guzman, more incidence of computer hacking were discovered. He said De Guzman is not the only Filipino computer hacker, although the Lovebug is the first of its kind and the most sensational computer crime, investigated by the NBI.

"There were others (hackers) after Onel, only they are not as destructive," said the NBI division chief. At the moment, the NBI relies on mere desktop computers to track down computer criminals in conducting "computer forensics."

The Lovebug virus discovered on May 4, 2000 was first discovered prompting a worldwide manhunt that ended up in a middle-class apartment in Pandacan, Manila. Since the incident, Meneses said more computer crimes came about with their investigation technology growing at a slow pace. (By Jose Aravilla, Star)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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