COPS ON THE I-WAY

COMPUTER CRIMES ARE BECOMING MORE DARING AND IMAGINATIVE

Here's the plot: short of cash but endowed with a wealth of computer skills, a clever employee is able to reach inside the boss's private data base and ``kidnap'' invaluable company secrets by locking them with a sophisticated encryption program. She then sends an anonymous electronic ransom note demanding a wire transfer of $3 million to a blind account in the Cayman Islands -- or the boss's proprietary data will be lost forever.

Extortion -- in this case hypothetical -- is only one of the many imaginative, daring and increasingly publicized crimes that have gone high tech in recent years....

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