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1. It is a major concern when you discover a computer you own or administer is being used for purposes that support child abuse or child pornography.

For example, your computer may be:

(a) Hijacked by hackers, a hidden file server is installed without your permission, and then illegal content is downloaded onto this server. You are then in a position of "hosting" seriously illegal content.

(b) Hijacked by hackers and hidden chat/chatroom server software is installed. You could then be in a position of having a computer that is aiding the commission of seriously illegal activities and conspiracies to commit serious crimes.

(c) Infected by a spam relay trojan/worm. You are then in a position where it appears that spam promoting child pornography is originating from your computer.

Whether the situation results from negligence on your part in failing to adequately secure your computer, or from very skillful hacking, you have a serious concern.

In situations (a) and (b) above, you or your organization will probably want to contact your local police before taking any action to clean the computer. Cleaning the computer would likely destroy any evidence that points to the actual criminals.

Situation (c) is more common. When ISPs discover your computer is a source of spam they will blacklist it, and then it will no longer be any use to spammers. The spammers will move on. There is generally very little likelihood that your computer will contain any useful evidence for police. So you may decide to simply clean your computer of the worm or trojan. The decision is yours.

2. You may have received e-mail or accidentally stumbled across a website, chat room, forum or file server site where child abuse or child pornography is occurring or being organized, and you want to know what to do about it.

Online child abuse includes: (a) searching for, sharing and downloading images of children being physically and sexually abused and (b) grooming children in chat rooms, for example, with the intention of committing sexual abuse both online and off.

Because these crimes usually cross international borders, the solution is international cooperation by law enforcement agencies.

A single point of contact website has been setup here for this purpose for all participating countries:
Look for the link to file a report. Then look for the link for your country.

In the USA, you can report child pornography and child abuse through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children here: »www.missingkids.com/

You can also report child pornography websites to the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) here: »asacp.org/report.php

To report fraud or attempted fraud of any kind, follow the instructions here:

2006-11-11 Added links to the NCMEC and ASACP. Thanks EGeezer and Cundi for the suggestion.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • "To report fraud or attempted fraud of any kind, follow the instructions here: /faq/10451" "/faq/10451" only appears as plain-text to me. I believe it is supposed to be an intra-site hyperlink.

    2012-05-17 18:56:26 (Caveat See Profile)

Expand got feedback?

by keith2468 See Profile edited by JMGullett See Profile
last modified: 2007-06-14 16:59:23