Have you noticed spam getting past your e-mail filters lately? You’re not alone, experts are saying 2006 was the worst year ever in Internet crime – and it appears – security fixes are being defeated.
Brian Krebbs (Washington Post) is warning:
Few Internet security watchers believe 2007 will be any brighter for the millions of fraud-weary consumers already struggling to stay abreast of new computer security threats and avoiding clever scams when banking, shopping or just surfing online.
Washington Post story, here.
Brian cites that in October 90 percent of all e-mail received was spam. And most spam is a come-on for one fraud scheme, or another.
Since “security fixes” are being defeated pretty quickly by organized criminals – who allegedly hire their own computer security experts – the only viable recourse is to go after the source(s) with the intent to put the people behind it out of business.
Resources allocated to fund the investigation of financial crimes are (normally) not funded very well and the people investigating them are “overwhelmed.” Maybe we should take some of the money being spent on developing “fixes” and use it to solve the real problem, which is a social one. Prevention seems to only work temporarily.
Security fixes are needed, but if we don’t aggressively go after the sources, the criminals develop countermeasures and we have to start all over again.
After all – it seems that organized criminals and some say, terrorists are flocking to this activity because it’s financially lucrative and a lot less dangerous than other criminal activities. Until we make it more dangerous for them, the problem is likely to keep growing.
John Bambenek (Assistant Politics Editor for Blogcritics and academic professional for University of Illinois) recently wrote a compelling essay about this subject, here.
Here is a previous post, I wrote about why we are approaching this problem the wrong way:
It quotes another couple of well-known experts, who think we are facing a problem that could get a lot worse if we fail to act.