Law Enforcement, Private Companies Team to Fight ID Theft

A collection of high-profile organizations including the United States Secret Service and the FBI, along with private companies such as IBM and LexisNexis, have formed a new research center aimed at stopping identity theft.

Dubbed CIMP (Center for Identity Management and Information Protection), the effort will be headquartered at Utica College in Utica, New York, and will also be supported by contributions from the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute, Indiana University’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research and Syracuse University’s CASE Center.

The group is promising to lay out an aggressive research agenda focused on issues related to identity management, information sharing policies and data protection.

CIMIP will be headed by Dr. Gary R. Gordon, a professor of Economic Crime Management at Utica College who is also credited as a nationally recognized expert in economic crime, including cyber-crime and identity fraud.

Organizers said that the group will specifically work to provide identity management and information protection resources to corporations, law enforcement, government agencies, academic institutions and the public through a planned series of publications as well as its Web site.

CIMIP members also plan to sponsor meetings and symposiums to help participants share their research findings with corporate, government and academic leaders.

The newly-launched group will focus its initial research on the causes, early detection and prevention of identity fraud and theft, along with other evolving threats from cyber-criminals.

CIMIP will also look into the impact of policy decisions, legislation and regulatory actions on ID theft, and ways to improve identity authentication systems to reduce fraud and other crimes.

Government officials lauded the organization’s chances to help slow down the epidemic of identity-related crimes that have overtaken the Internet, such as phishing and pharming schemes, and so-called Nigerian scams.

“Identity theft has become rampant in our society and to better combat the problem we need bold, new and innovative solutions,” Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Chairman of the House Science Committee, said in a statement.

For starters, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, will work with CIMIP on the international criminal groups believed to be responsible for many of today’s online identity fraud attacks.

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