Phone Data for Policing, Data Markets for Criminals and Trouble with Boys: Episode 4 of The Commsrisk Show

Yesterday’s livestream of The Communications Risk Show covered three themes that neatly segued from one to another:

  • The speed and ease with which criminals establish online markets to sell stolen personal data, with much of it stolen from comms providers and social media platforms
  • The frequency with which young men are named as the criminals responsible for hacking systems, stealing data and conducting SIM swaps
  • How to provide forensic analysis of telecoms data for both prosecutors and defendants in criminal cases

One of the live audience accused me of sexism because I highlighted how often the hackers and other rogues profiting from communications crimes are boys in their teenage years or men who are still so young that they must have learned how to commit crime whilst still a teenager. If girls and women were also being arrested in similar numbers then I would not hesitate to say so. Glance over past articles on Commsrisk and you will soon observe a pattern where police forces in various countries keep announcing the arrests of young men, but not of young women. However, if you share the opinion of my co-presenter, Lee Scargall, who says this must be because female hackers are better than their male counterparts, then I would be glad to see the evidence which closes that particular gender gap!

A more serious contribution was made by our two guests from telecoms data forensics and RAFM business LATRO. Donald Reinhart, CEO of LATRO (pictured top right) and Tom Beiser, Director of LATRO’s Cellular Forensics Lab (pictured bottom right), told us about the work they do to interpret CDRs and other data when engaged to provide expert analysis for criminal court cases. Tom’s team gets hired by both defendants and prosecutors, and Tom is a former police detective who specialized in using telecoms data before he joined LATRO, so he understands the issues from every perspective. Tom and Don gave us a fascinating insight into the thought processes involved when using phone data to determine not just where a person was when a crime occurred, but all the evidence about what they were doing at that time. If you did not catch the live show then watch the recording below.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.