Maine cops trap Net predators

Maine cops trap Net predators

In cyberspace, nobody knows who you are. But that's no longer the case when investigators use tracking software from VisualWare Inc. of Turlock, Calif.

The Maine Computer Crimes Task Force is using VisualRoute software to find and convict malicious spammers, Internet predators and hackers. When a user plugs in a uniform resource locator, IP address or e-mail address, VisualRoute shows on a map where the domain server is located and who owns it, said Mike Webber, a task force detective.

'VisualRoute lets us track all kinds of computer activity,' Webber said. For example, he said, a cosmetics saleswoman in Northport, Maine, recently was put out of business by a malicious spam campaign. Sexually explicit e-mail went out to hundreds of people, apparently from the victim's e-mail account with her phone number and postal address.

The $40 program runs under Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris and Linux, said Julie Lancaster, director of marketing for VisualWare. Written in Java, VisualRoute has about 35,000 users in police and security organizations, she said. Users can download a copy from www.visualware.com.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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