Special Report: Crime on the Internet
(CNN) -- As technology becomes more sophisticated, so does cybercrime. U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials say that the future of national security -- and the personal safety of everyone -- may hinge on how prepared they are to fight crime on the Internet.
FBI officials say that technology-enabled terrorists are looking for new ways to strike at critical national infrastructure and that organized crime rings are extorting companies by stealing proprietary information from the Web.
Child pornographers have thousands of pictures at their fingertips, and according to law enforcement officials, easy access to Web sites is now attracting a younger audience who have begun experimenting with the production and publication of "peer" pornography.
U.S. government agencies, including the Secret Service, FBI, State Department, Customs Service and the Department of Defense have all committed money and manpower to cybercrime-fighting units. But officials say that despite these efforts, the United States is still not completely up to the task of preventing or dealing with all cyberattacks.
Those on the front lines of the cyberwar cite a number of problems in fighting technology-savvy adversaries. Recruiting people with advanced technological training on government salaries remains difficult -- the salaries are low compared to those at the corporate level.
As soon as law enforcement develops a technological fix for a problem, cybercriminals often have already found new technological strategies.
And deciding where to commit resources can be puzzling: Who would have targeted Oklahoma City as a possible site for a terrorist act before 1995?
How does this affect you? In a three-part series on cybercrime, CNN Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena examines the issues and the steps you can take to protect yourself, whether it's protecting your personal information or restricting your children's time on the Web.
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