Cybercrimes on a large scale have recently rocked leading companies in major industries, causing a stir, and spurring investigations hoping to unveil the perpetrators and restore lost confidence in affected companies.

The biggest challenge in Internet crime investigation lies in piercing the cloak of anonymity most hackers use. Because cyber crime investigation requires highly technical expertise and cooperation among service providers, pinpointing legal responsibility for an Internet crime may be questionable due to lack of accurate attribution in cyberspace.

As online incursions and cyber crime investigations continue, the risk of prosecuting the wrong defendants also increases.

Anthem Insurance Compromised

Just recently, the United States’ second largest health insurer reported that its database containing personal information of 80 million customers and personnel has been hacked. Anthem said that it detected the attack just days before its announcement and investigators have yet to determine the extent of the breach.

The Anthem hacking Internet crime is reportedly the biggest data breach affecting a health insurer. The company admitted that the incursion may have exposed personal information such as names, birthdays, addresses and social security numbers of its clients and employees. It is not clear whether medical and financial information such as credit card and bank account numbers have been stolen.

Recent Internet Crimes Involving Large Companies

Anthem is one of several large companies recently subjected to hacking attacks. In previous months, hackers attacked J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Home Depot, Target and Sony. The breaches compromised contact data of 76 million households, 56 million credit card accounts, and 53 million customer email addresses.

Anthem’s Response to the Cyber Attack

Anthem took immediate action after its discovery of the Internet crime by informing the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the incursion, hiring internet security expert, Mandiant, to investigate the incident, notifying its customers, and resetting all employee passwords.

Internet Crime Defense

Investigators managed to track the hacked data to an external web storage service ordinarily used by U.S. companies, but have yet to identify the person/s behind the attack.

Due to the sophisticated technology involved in Internet crimes, determining the identity of persons responsible for them can be a challenge. Various activities online have also been criminalized, including phishing, spamming, and unauthorized taking or copying of electronic data.

The problem with some of the Internet crimes, such as spamming, is that innocent persons may be charged for a crime they did not knowingly commit. Emails containing malware may have been unwittingly opened and spread automatically to everyone in a person’s contact list.

Employees who handle electronic data as part of their regular functions may not be aware of the company’s ownership of such data and could be charged with unauthorized taking or copying of electronic data.

If you are being investigated or charged with an Internet crime, you are legally entitled to all the defenses of a person accused of a crime. Your criminal defense attorney can help by studying your case and raising the appropriate defenses applicable in your situation.

Internet crimes carry heavy penalties such as stiff fines and jail time and should not be regarded lightly. In California, the law firm of David S. Kestenbaum is dedicated to criminal defense litigation. David S. Kestenbaum has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubell and is listed as a 2014 Super Lawyer. He also earned the distinction of Preeminent Criminal Defense Attorney from Lexis Nexis.

We invite you to call our offices today at (818) 616-4312 to speak to an attorney about your internet crime accusation or charge.