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Money exchanges soft targets for criminals

By Mohammed Al Sadafy

Financial crimes are on the rise and a top official from the criminal investigations department of Dubai Police said money exchange agencies are the latest target of hi-tech thieves.

Captain Rashid Ahmed Lootah, Director, Department of Electronic Evidence, General Department of Criminal Evidence and Criminology, Dubai Police, called on money exchange agencies to enhace their online security systems and devlop programmes to thwart online crimes in the sector. 

Four cases of security breaches in exchanges were reported last year, while 20 attempts were made in 2009 and eight in 2008.

Lootah said inadequate security measures and lack of awareness of the importance of securing electronic information are considered the main reasons for an increase of such crimes.

These criminals usually send an email with an attachment to any staff. Once the attachement is downloaded on to the staff's computer, the sender will be able to control his device and access accounts and money transfers.

Anti-virus protection should be made mandatory in all exchanges. Meanwhile, Lootah said electronic piracy cases including violation of intellectual property rights hit 18 last year compared to 19 in 2009 and 12 cases in 2008.