Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Net Fraud

Net fraud accused back online

From: The Courier-Mail
February 21, 2010

A TEENAGE Brisbane student accused of using the internet to defraud Queensland's biggest bank of $2 million has today had his ban on using the internet lifted.

Brisbane Magistrate Noel Nunan this morning varied bail conditions for Philip Heggie, 18, so he could use the internet to continue his university studies.

Heggie, a University of Queensland business student, made a brief appearance in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court to answer charges of fraud, attempted fraud and uttering a forged document.

Click here to read the full article on the website

--- A class member asks the following regarding the above story:

Given the level of sophistication required to perpetrate these alleged activities, has the Court (in its most recent decision concerning bail conditions) paid sufficient heed to the possibility of the accused undertaking similar acts? How meaningful are either of the different sets of bail conditions prescribed by the court, given that cyber crimes can be undertaken anonymously?

3 comments:

Gerard said...

Very interesting. from my own knowledge of the inside workings of Bank accounting systems it is highly unlikely that the information was gained by hacking or similar cyber access. This would most certainly have to be information gained from someone who works in the bank.

Whilst the net bank system could facilitate transfers the knowledge of the actual account numbers to use isn't something that could be hacked. Further the net bank system couldn't process a "journal entry" as described in the article.

The court transcripts should reveal more.

Louise said...

I agree - the prosecution would have a very difficult time proving Heggie breached his bail conditions, given that these cyber crimes can be undertaken anonymously. Perhaps a more appropriate bail condition would be setting up a firewall or a "parent lock" on Heggie's home computer restricting what sites Heggie may access. Again dilemmas would arise - given the advent of "smart phones" and ipods with internet capabilities - it would be impractical to place firewalls or restrictions on all these internet technological devices accessible to Heggie.

Visnja said...

New forms of punishment should be created for cybercrime. Banning the use of the internet is impossible and impracticable. Heggie clearly has a very sophisticated knowledge of the ins and outs of the security limitations of the internet. Net fraud is akin to any other fraud and should not be treated any differently to the physical robbery of a bank. It seems from the article that judges have taken a soft stance on this hard crime.