Computer Crimes

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, January 1996

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The computer has evolved a great deal since its creation over a third of a century ago. The uses of the computer now seem endless. Unfortunately some of those uses include computer crimes. This paper will explore some recent crimes that have occurred and the laws that apply to them.

The first such incident took place in Russia between June and October 1994. Six people were arrested in the scheme, in which $10 million was allegedly shifted from Citibank to accounts in Finland, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Of the $10 million stolen, $400,000 has not been recovered. The clients who lost money have been reimbursed. The Citibank system allows customers to transfer their money to accounts at other banks. The hackers found a way to crack the system and made about 40 transfers of money totaling more than $10 million. The bank's control system provided the tip to the fraudulent transactions.

At least one of the hackers, who was arrested about a year ago while in San Francisco opening accounts to receive the money, is helping investigators. Another person arrested is a Russian computer expert who worked at a Russian software company. Vladimir Levin, head systems operator for AO Saturn, figured out how to get around Citibank's security system and transfer money out of their accounts. Levin, of St. Petersburg, claims he should not be turned over to American authorities because there is no evidence that any computers in the United States were used in the scheme. The U. S. government says the funds were all routed through Citibank's wire transfer department on Wall Street. The Justice Department wants to charge Levin with conspiracy and fraud. (Source: Delaware County Daily Times, 8/21/95)

If turned over to American authorities, Levin is subject to ordinary...