Monthly Archive: February 2015

Cyber Crime in Sagebrushland

Who you gonna call?

–Ghostbusters (1984)

When New York City was plagued by a lumbering, paranormal 100 ft. Marshmallow Man, citizens didn’t know who to turn to for help.

Neither do most of us, when our emails get hacked by a Nigerian scammer claiming we’ve been mugged in London and urging all of our friends and relatives to “please send money” so we can return home.

That actually happened to me. And if you happen to own a gmail or old AOL email account, chances are it has happened to you. And like the residents of the uptown high rise in Manhattan who were getting routinely slimed by Casper-like, not-so-friendly ghosts, most of us don’t know where to turn when our email accounts get hijacked.

That’s why I’m introducing AB 173 this afternoon in the Commerce and Labor Committee hearing room at 1:30 PM.

The person I turned to when my computer was possessed by an unscrupulous computer geek was a computer geek himself, by the name of Ira Victor.

He helped me set up a virtually unhackable email account so my cousin Steve doesn’t ever again call my wife in a panic asking how to wire money to the Western Union office in East London.

Ira Victor and his company Data Clone Labs are part of a growing cadre of individuals in Nevada to whom IT-challenged persons like myself can turn when we are victims of cybercrime and/or are in need of help with a little old-fashioned data recovery.

The problem for “information security professionals” is that they sometimes run into problems with traditional crime-fighting officials. Likewise, the Ghostbuster crew clashed with cops from NYPD who didn’t exactly understand what the misfit parapsychologists were doing in the New York Public Library and other places around the city when a paranormal disturbance was reported.

My constituent, Ira, has run into some of the same kind of problems as Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd with “traditional” crime investigators. In my constituent Ira Victor’s case, it was not with New York City’s finest, but with private investigator (PI’s) firms in Nevada, who don’t quite know how to deal with the newest digital crime fighters on the block. Like the beat cops of old, they are good at the traditional crime fighting methods of yesterday. Not so much, always, with the cyber challenges of today

The new digital environment we all now occupy requires not only new skills for us, the users. It requires even greater skill sets by those professionals who help us troubleshoot our way out of problems–especially when “cyber crimes” are committed against us and our businesses.

Today’s hearing in Assembly Commerce and Labor on AB 173 will take us into a realm of discussion that may seem at first a bit abnormal. For decades, many of us technology-challenged individuals have been kicking and screaming in resistance to the acquisition of the requisite computer skills for life in the 21st century.

AB 173 will give us statutory permission to get help when Internet-criminals “occupy” our lives.

So, the next time your computer gets hacked by a Romanian cyber gang and the question naturally arises,“Who You Gonna Call?”… you may freely call and receive a call back from a computer geek who, like Bill Murray, might say when the damage of the crime on your machine is undone–

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass.