SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – With a surge in tech crimes in the city, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon is looking to create a high-tech crime unit to combat the increasing problem.

Gascon said San Francisco is already falling behind when it comes to prosecuting high-tech crimes.

“Often we find ourselves in desperate need of being able to do analytical forensic work on technological equipment and we don’t have the resources to do it,” he said.

Gascon said he’s asking Mayor Ed Lee to budget $600,000 to hire four staff members that will focus on technology-related crime.

“We look at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Manhattan is not quite twice our size,” Gascon said. “They have around 50 crime analysts that do a lot of this work. We have none.”

If his request is approved, Gascon said he hopes to hire the new staffers within the next six months.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris established an eCrime Unit in 2011. In a recent report about cybercrime in the state, Harris said California is the top target in the U.S. for international criminal enterprises.

The report found that California leads all states in the number of computer systems hacked or infected by malware, victims of Internet crimes and theft identity, and the amount of financial losses suffered as a result of online crimes.

Many of the breaches have been tied to criminal organizations operating out of locations including Russia, Ukraine, China and Nigeria.


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