Computers: Surveying the Data Diddlers

A new study takes the measure of computer crime

A brokerage-firm margin clerk sitting at a keyboard in Denver changes a few letters on a computer screen and magically transforms 1,700 shares of Loren Industries stock worth $1.50 each into the same number of Long Island Lighting shares selling for more than ten times that price. A keyboard operator processing orders at an Oakland department store changes some delivery addresses and diverts several thousand dollars' worth of store goods into the hands of accomplices. A ticket clerk at the Arizona Veterans' Memorial Coliseum issues full-price basketball tickets, sells them and then, tapping out codes on her computer keyboard, records the...

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