Federal officials working to crack down on cyber crimes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Federal officials working to crack down on cyber crimes

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From financial crimes and fraud to identity theft and even drug sales, criminals are turning to cyberspace more often.

On Tuesday morning, Connecticut's U.S. Attorney announced the creation of a new task force focusing on just that.

Federal agents, the state police, and 11 local police departments will be working together and sharing valuable resources, investigating what they say are some pretty complex cyber crimes.

"The thing about cyber is that it’s everywhere and that's why you have federal agencies ranging from DEA, FBI, IRS, U.S. Postal Service, it touches on so much of all the work we do,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.

The way these law enforcement and federal prosecutors spell it out is there's plenty of work to keep the newly formed Connecticut Cyber Safety Task Force busy.

In fact, the FBI says the number of calls for cyber crimes has increased dramatically.

"Especially attacks like the ransom ware attacks, where the advisory is locking the victim’s computer, locking their data and then extorting them for money and the business email compromise attacks where they're tricking people into sending money, wiring money based on some idea that there is a legitimate business purpose for it,” said FBI’s Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Lawler, who heads up the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Program in CT.

He said people need to protect themselves.

"12345 is still today the most common password used by most people to protect their financial accounts, their emails and everything else.  So, people being aware of something like that and even just making your password a little more difficult makes you safer,” Lawler said.

But the financial crimes are just one aspect. The other issue the fentanyl and other dangerous opioids that are being shipped to the United States.

"Things that are sold on the dark web are sold anonymously. It’s an incredible forum and opportunity for bad actors, to sell drugs, to sell guns and to sell all kinds of contraband,” Daly said.

Identifying, targeting and prosecuting those profiting off the web.

"The way the internet works, it doesn't depend on where you are globally, it can reach everyone and I’d say we're seeing our fair share of the attacks here in Connecticut,” Lawler said.

If you think you've been a victim of a cyber attack, the FBI says to reach out to them immediately. They also have a website set up to help people file a complaint, which can be found here.

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