While the internet has done big things for people from one side of the world to the next, it has also opened up the opportunity for related crime. Last December, Target's computer systems were compromised. As a result, personal and financial information associated with as many as 70 million people was stolen.
While the Secret Service continues to investigate, hoping to unearth information sooner rather than later, they feel that it could take many years to identify the criminals who were responsible for the attack.
Even if the offenders are pinpointed, it could take even longer to bring them to justice. This is due in large part to the fact that the perpetrators are likely living overseas, which could make it a challenge to bring them to the United States for prosecution.
Target has yet to estimate how much money this internet crime is going to cost the company; however, many experts feel that it could be close to half a billion dollars. When you take into consideration the losses incurred by consumers and banks, this number could surpass $1 billion.
While the Secret Service continues its investigation, Target is doing the same. They don't know much about the cause, but do believe the offenders made their way into the system through computers owned by a heating and refrigeration business in the Pittsburgh area.
With the popularity of the internet on the rise, many people make the mistake of committing a crime by using their computer. Such crimes carry significant penalties, including fines and jail time. Developing a strong defense is a must, but the advice of an experienced attorney who understands the ins and outs of internet crimes is also important. In some cases, an expert witness may be needed to dispute the more technical evidence.
Source: ECN, "Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find" Bree Fowler, Apr. 17, 2014