Cyberfraud and electronic extortion is becoming a real problem for UK businesses. This week the police's National Crime Squad will be holding a conference for selected companies in Birmingham to explain what kind of offences are being committed and to attempt to teach how they can be rebuffed.

At the conference police officers and security personnel (aka spooks) from all over Europe will get together and discuss how to beat back this threat, especially the problem of electronic extortion.

The seminar is also a kind of coming-out for the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, which is due to come into being in April, and is being set up to tackle the rising problem of internet crime.

Sadly this potentially important seminar is closed to the press as well as the public, which means the police and big business must be really worried about the issue. So we can't tell you anything much about it of value. But here's some of what we know, from an NCS press release.

"There will then be three presentations; one consisting of a case study from a representative of the FBI, a second case study (which is currently sub judice in this country) by a representative of the National Crime Squad, and a presentation on legal issues by a representative of the Garda Siochana.

"Towards the end of the first day, delegates will then be introduced to a scenario… details of which are being withheld for operational reasons," says the release. "[the scenario] presents an escalating and increasingly serious criminal computer-based threat to a business and related individuals, involving an attempt at electronic extortion."