The Open Internet’s Growing Security Problem — Part IX

May 4, 2009

New evidence continues to spotlight the Open Internet’s growing security problem.

  • The growing catalogue of evidence from mainstream sources is getting harder and harder to ignore. See previous parts of the series: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII & VIII.

“Internet security threat report finds malicious activity continues to grow at a record pace — Web based attacks evolve as hackers target end-user information; Underground economy continues to thrive.” Symantec

  • Symantec found that there continues to be a well-organized underground economy specializing in the sale of stolen confidential data, particularly credit card and bank account credentials. This underground economy is thriving...”

“Why we are heading into a perfect storm of cybercrime” TechCentral

  • “…we are heading for a “perfect storm” of malware. As the economy has gone into meltdown, cybercrime has risen sharply, with more viruses etc detected in 2008 than in the previous five years combined. Last year, 80 per cent of cybercrimes were aimed at making money, either by phishing for your cash, stealing your personal information or selling you a dodgy product, he added. He said data loss has cost businesses across the world more than one trillion dollars.”

Cybercriminals exploit swine flu fears with spam emails Times Online

  • Bogus online pharmacies are trying to harvest credit card details by offering anti-flu drugs, security companies warn.”

“How cybercriminals unleash Internet worms” USA Today

  • “Bots are the little engines that propel online criminal activities. Bots, for example, are efficient at creating bogus Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL messaging accounts, as well as memberships on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These bogus accounts can serve as launching points to spread spam, steal data, pitch fake antivirus subscriptions – and scoop more PCs into the botnet.”

“Worm Solves Google’s CAPTCHA, creates fake accounts” Network World

  • Google … and other companies that provide free e-mail accounts have been besieged over the last few years by spammers using sophisticated techniques to create fake accounts. Free e-mail accounts are valuable to spammers. E-mail sent from those accounts has a better chance of making it past antispam filters since it comes a trusted domain, although companies use other methods such as text analysis to pluck out rubbish e-mail.”

“Computer worm Cornficker is doing its dirty work” Christian Science Monitor

  • Once the worm wiggles into a PC, it then has the ability to install software and enable the computer to receive additional viruses from the program’s creators. It can also link an individual PC to other infected machines and create an army of computers under its control, called a botnet, which can be strung together for launching cyberattacks.”

“Act now before its too late security industry told” Computer Weekly

  • “…he warned it may already be too late to “defuse the ticking [security] time bomb” in mobile and wireless computing. “Just as it was with the internet, security is largely an afterthought with mobile, and unless radical change happens, our Blackberries and iPhones are destined to be under the same assault as PCs are under,” he said.”

Given the mounting evidence of growing Internet security/safety/privacy issues, why do these issues continue to get such little relative attention from many policymakers?

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