CHARLESTON -- The West Virginia Attorney General's Office is asking the state Legislature to give it the authority to bring legal action against those committing crimes in cyberspace.

Office Comptroller Joe Clay, in a Jan. 20 presentation to the House Finance Committee, said the number of Internet crimes is growing. Right now, there is no one agency assigned to prosecute the crimes, he told the committee, according to The Charleston Gazette.

Such crimes include spam e-mails, websites that try to obtain personal information from users, and attacks intended to shut down whole computer servers.

"We are aware of the state (servers) being successfully attacked twice last year," Clay told the committee, according to the Gazette.

"One of those incidents was from within, and was caught before any real damage was done."

Any shutdowns of the mainframe could have some serious effects, especially for the Attorney General's Office, Clay said. The office uses special legal sites to research cases.

Having one central office in charge of prosecuting such crimes would be easier than establishing one in every county, he explained to lawmakers.

More News