New Weapon to Crack Down Auctioned Fakes

New Weapon to Crack Down Auctioned Fakes

The popular trend of online shopping nowadays is followed by a series of intellectual property infringement and auction of fake goods. In order to prevent this, a new system called Lineament Monitoring System II was jointly developed by the Center for Information Security and Cryptography, The University of Hong Kong and the Customs and Excise Department of the HKSAR Government, making 24-hour monitoring possible.

Lineament Monitoring System II uses the latest technologies in cybercriminal profiling, artificial intelligence (AI) and web crawling. The crawler of the system not only collects data from the target auction sites, but also performs a semantic analysis on the crawled data so that they can further be analyzed by the profiling engine and the AI engine. The profiling engine analyses the behavior of individual user account and then triggers rules of the AI engine to alert the law enforcement officers for follow-up actions.

In the past, the Customs and Excise Department counted on manual patrolling to surf for suspected cases, which was tedious and inefficient. Some of the suspicious cases could be missed, which were unavoidable given the manual process. Moreover, the illegal sellers sometimes kept the bidding open briefly and erased all the information after the deal within an hour, making it even more difficult to track. However, the new system conducts a search of key words such as sellers, brands and price range. After entering the relevant information into Lineament II, round-the-clock monitoring of the designated internet auction sites gets stared. Any suspected infringements will be recorded to facilitate follow-up investigations by officers.

Last year, 45 cases of selling counterfeit goods online were detected, mainly involving auction websites, which is up 15 percent from 2009. The goods involved accessories, watches, clothes, toys and sunglasses, etc. The Lineament Monitoring System II, which costs about HK$300,000, has so far investigated 30 cases of which four have been solved since its launch in January this year.

It is encouraging for us to know that the new system works well and we will keep updating and improving it. In the near future, we will further cooperate with other Hong Kong law enforcement agencies, such as the Hong Kong Police Force and Immigration Department, to develop new technologies to help with crime-fighting.

Lineament Monitoring System II

Dr K P Chow
(Associate Professor of Department of Computer Science and Associate Director of Center for Information Security and Cryptography) explains that the new system makes 24-hour monitoring possible.