The Open Internet’s Growing Security Problem — Part III

February 12, 2009

Evidence continues to mount that the real problem on the Internet is that it is not as safe/secure as it needs to be — not the popular myth that it is not open/neutral enough. (See previous posts in this ongoing series here: Part I, Part II)

  • It is a sad state of affairs when there is more media and public policy attention paid to addressing potential “open” Internet problems, than to the very real and increasing Internet safety/security problems.

More evidence on the seriousness of the Internet’s growing security problem:

The Online Shadow Economy: a billion dollar market for malware authors.” MessageLabs White Paper

  • The shadow Internet economy is worth over $105 billion. Online crime is bigger than the global drug trade.”
  • With little chance of being caught and so much money at stake, it is little wonder that “a huge number of people are involved“”
  • “…malware is going to get more common and more virulent…”

 “Corporations Are Inadvertently Becoming the No. 1 Security Threat to Their Own Customers, According to New IBM X-Force(R) Annual Report

  • With an alarming increase in attacks using legitimate business sites as launching pads for attacks against consumers, cybercriminals are literally turning businesses against their own customers in the ongoing effort to steal consumers’ personal data.”  “Data Breaches are more costly than ever.” Washington Post.
    •  “Some of the best news out of this survey is that churn is really happening,” Ponemon said. “People really do care when organizations screw up and lose their data.”
    • Last month when Heartland Payment Systems, the nation’s sixth-largest credit and debit card processor, disclosed a breach that could affect millions of customers, the company’s stock lost 42 percent of its value to close at a 52-week low of $8.18.”

    Busting bots: Defending against botnetsSC Magazine 

    • Botnets leverage unique binaries, severely limiting the effectiveness of anti-virus signatures and intrusion prevention systems. And many are now built with protocols that allow their drone machines to blend in with legitimate outbound web traffic while they communicate with their command-and-control servers to receive and act on instructions.”
    • “Compromising a machine – like the one belonging to the Connecticut College student – provides the coordinated computing power necessary to send junk mail, siphon sensitive data and launch destructive denial-of-service attacks that could jeopardize national security. Remember Estonia?”

    “Security software maker’s own website hacked” The Age

    • Leading PC security software maker Kaspersky Lab has made millions helping consumers and businesses stay safe online but the company has evidently struggled to secure its own website, which was hacked, leaving sensitive information exposed.”

    Bottom line:

    Why don’t those pushing for the Internet to be more “open” do more to address the Internet’s safety and security problems?

    • Could it be that Internet “openness” is a big contributor to the Internet’s growing Internet security problem?
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