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Computer Virus Assisted In Crime Revelation

Just opposite to their menacing behavior, a computer virus inadvertently led the police to a paedophile who had accessed numerous images of child pornography, as published by The Northern Echo on May 25, 2007.

A virus - moving as a keylogger - had reportedly installed on the PC of Joseph Catterson. The virus recorded every key that was pressed by Catterson, as heard by the Teesside Crown Court.

Catterson, who confessed to have made 16 indecent child porn images along with another accusation regarding the possession of 1,486 vulgar pictures, had tried to hide his misdeeds through a clean-up program that wiped out details about his searches.

Prosecutor Dan Cordey said that police, while visiting Catterson's then residence at The Orchard in Sedgefield of County Durham on 3 March 2005, had seized his machine. The Northern Echo published this on May 25, 2007.

According to Cordey, records were deleted as the culprit attempted to hide the child porn searches he had made. However, the police engaged Sharon Robson - Detective Constable and a specialist in cyber crime investigation - for the examination of his computer's hard drive. Robson found that the culprit had used specific search keywords for hunting child porn. She traced them to the thumbnail images being questioned.

Catterson was sent for three-year-long community rehabilitation and ordered for a sexual-prevention under which he was restricted from contacting children and accessing computers. Also, he was ordered to register his residential information with the police for the next five years.

Today, the ISPs such as Yahoo, Earthlink, Microsoft, etc are making use of sophisticated technology for identifying porn websites. Credit card firms are also tracking the purchases. Besides this, additional police cops are masquerading as minors on the Internet, so that porn image down-loaders can be caught red handed.

"We've hit the tipping-point," divulges Michelle Collins, who's the director for National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's child exploitation unit. She says that high profile cases, like that of JonBenét Ramsey murder's former suspect John Mark Karr, have helped the public understand that porn images of children are crime scene pictures and their personal possession or downloading is also a serious offence. USA Today had published this last year.

Related article: Computer Virus Writers Adopt New Strategy

» SPAMfighter News - 6/6/2007

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