The Open Internet’s Growing Security Problem — Part IV in the Series

March 3, 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 neutralist myth that it is not open/neutral enough. (Parts: I, II, III)

  • I would be surprised, if the succinct evidence that I have assembled below, does not deeply trouble the reader.  
  • Moreover, it is also troubling that there is not more focus on the real and increasing problem of Internet safety/security because there is so much attention focused on making the Internet even more open and vulnerable than it already is.    

The Mounting Evidence of a Growing Internet Security Problem:

  • Internet Threat: Hackers swarm bank accountsUSA Today
    • New and nasty banking trojans are on the rise on the Internet and attacking online bank accounts.”
  • U.S. not ready for Cyber Katrina” Per Obama Transition Advisor, CQ Politics
    • “…it is unclear who would be in charge during a “cyber Katrina” and that the county is not ready to respond to such a situation. “Is it the FCC? Is it DHS? Is it Commerce? Is it the White House? Is it [the Department of Defense]? I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that, and that’s pretty darn scary…”
  • Attackers exploiting upatched flaw in Adobe Reader, AcrobatWashingtonPost.com
    • “…Acrobat software…contain a vulnerability that could allow attackers to take complete control over a system if the user were to open a poisoned PDF file.”
  • “Black Hat; Google Gears offline data vulnerable” Information Week
    • One reason it’s so easy for an attacker is that vulnerabilities are so common. Over the three years from January 2006, through December 2008, 82% of Web sites had at least one security issue, according to WhiteHat Security, and for 63% of them, issues of high, critical, or urgent severity remain unaddressed.”
  • “Thwarting an internal hacker” Wall Street Journal
    • Before he left, he slipped a logic bomb into the organization’s network…It was programmed to disable access to the server on which it was running, block any network monitoring software, systematically and irretrievably erase everything –and then replicate itself on all 4,000 Fannie Mae servers.”
  • “Cyber terrorists learn how to take advantage of cyberspace” UPI.com
    • “…low costs to entry, making it more attractive to terrorists … inclined to pursue low-end asymmetric strategies…”
  • U.S Internet Security urgently needs new strategiesUPI.com
    • “…an attack aimed solely at the United States, similar in scope to the cyberattacks suffered by Estonia in April and May 2007, could severely disrupt the U.S. economy and increase Americans’ concerns regarding their vulnerability.”
  • “New culture of cyber-security needed, leaders say” Security Management
    • “…the culture of safety that pervades industry could be duplicated to bolster security of the nation’s cyber infrastructure, which has grown essentially ubiquitous.”
  • Koobface worm resurfaces on Facebook, MySpaceWashingtonPost.com
    • The bogus plug-in instead installs a Trojan horse program that gives Koobface author(s) control over the infected user’s computer…the worm also hijacks the victim’s social networking account, by sending out additional invites in order to spread the worm to the victim’s friends and contacts.”
  • “Facebook plagued with security problems” Times of the Internet
    • “…Facebook has been hit by five distinct security problems during the past seven days.”l
  • Malware Trends, Help Net Security
    • In addition to the increase in advanced Web-based attacks, we think the economic crisis will be the basis of many new attacks.”
  •  “Spike in cyber attacks on U.S. Government ComputersMX Logix Security News
    • “…Cybercriminals increased their attacks on federal computer networks by 40 percent last year.”

Bottom line:

Internet safety/security issues are only growing in amount and seriousness.

  • Common sense dictates more focus on making the current Internet more safe and secure rather than focusing on how to make it more open and vulnerable to the Internet’s growing saftey/security problems.
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