Cyber crimes increase 12% in first half - report

The number of cyber crimes leapt by nearly 12% in Japan in the first half of this year from the same period of 2005, with fraud connected to Internet auctions leading the pack, a police report, quoted by Reuters, said.

The report, quoting a statement from Japan's National Police Agency, said 1,802 cyber crimes were uncovered in the first half of the year, the highest level for a six-month period since record-keeping began in 2000.

Fraud through abuse of computer networks rose most sharply at 733 cases, up 9.1%, and accounted for 40% of the total, the report said.

The majority of these were related to Internet auctions, a police spokeswoman said.

Cases of child prostitution through dating Web sites rose 18.2% to 169, while trademark offenses such as submitting fake brand merchandise to Internet auctions more than doubled to 106 cases, the report said.

The report further said police data had previously shown that Internet-related crimes including phishing and illegal access to computer networks had more than doubled in the past five years