You are here: Home Knowledge Base Polity Cybercrime, Cybersecurity and the Future of the Internet Proposals Cybercrime, Cybersecurity and the Future of the Internet
Symposium 2010

Proposal - Cybercrime, Cybersecurity and the Future of the Internet

The Challenge

In the past decade, advances in communications technologies and the “informatization” of society have converged as never before in human history. This has given rise to the industrialization of ...

In the past decade, advances in communications technologies and the “informatization” of society have converged as never before in human history. This has given rise to the industrialization of a type of crime where the commodity—personal information—moves far too quickly for conventional law enforcement methods to keep pace.

There are three broad threats to internet security: cyber crime, cyber industrial espionage and cyber warfare. They represent a useful rule of thumb but are not fixed categories - they bleed into one another of necessity.

The one common element that straddles the three threats is that at some point they involve a computer user with advanced hacking ability. Already the role of these people may be quite far removed from the action. This is due to the industrialisation of hacking tools which are now easily available: from viruses which buyers may deploy themselves through to operational botnets which can be hired for several hours, days or weeks.

As a consequence, even unskilled computer users are now in a position to mount a cyber attack at relatively little cost. Nonetheless, somebody had to develop these devices in the first place and that requires specialist hacking ability. And just as security tools evolve and adapt to meet the threat, so, too, do the weapons of attack in order to circumvent those security regimes.

Thus will hackers remain the grease that is essential to lubricate all three cyber threats. But despite their established presence, few agencies or academics have shown an inclination to investigate their motivation and their relationship to crime or wider security issues.

It is a controversial issue but I believe it is essential to find ways of identifying potential criminal hackers at an early stage of their career; to develop strategies to divert them into more constructive web-based activities; to study their peculiar social and psychological profiles; and to find ways of using their skills if apprehended rather than locking them up in jail as we in the West do now.

Quite simply, this requires serious research programmes that marries computer science with behavioural psychology and criminology. The research capacity exists but there are as yet no programmes being developed with this specific discipline in mind.

    Related Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Cybercrime, Cybersecurity and the Future of the Internet

    What is international crime? Ten years ago it was smuggling, drug trade and money laundering. But over the last ten years, we've seen an explosion of online crime. And online crime is always internati ...

    What is international crime? Ten years ago it was smuggling, drug trade and money laundering. But over the last ten years, we've seen an explosion of online crime. And online crime is always international because the internet has no borders.Local law enforcement has limited resources and expertise to investigate online crime. The victims, police, prosecutors and judges rarely uncover the full scope of these crimes. Action against online criminals is too slow, the arrests are few and far between, and too often the penalties are very lenient, especially compared to real-world crimes.That’s why I’m calling for the establishment of Internetpol

    Polity
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Five concerns and five solutions for cybersecurity

    Internet security doesn’t just touch on government, big business and law enforcers. It is an increasingly important concern for the average personal technology user, many of whom have little underst ...

    Internet security doesn’t just touch on government, big business and law enforcers. It is an increasingly important concern for the average personal technology user, many of whom have little understanding of the issues and even less knowledge of the technical solutions. They just want to know that if they follow a few simple ground rules, they will be safe. I would highlight five particular areas of concern that require appropriate solutions:   Data protection and privacy On the web, personal information can be as valuable a currency as cash. Citizen’s attitudes towards the privacy of their personal information are evolving

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Dealing with Cyber crime – Challenges and Solutions

    The threat from cyber crime is multi-dimensional, targeting citizens, businesses, and governments at a rapidly growing rate. Cyber criminal tools pose a direct threat to security and play an increasin ...

    The threat from cyber crime is multi-dimensional, targeting citizens, businesses, and governments at a rapidly growing rate. Cyber criminal tools pose a direct threat to security and play an increasingly important role in facilitating most forms of organised crime and terrorism. Challenge 1 There is now a sophisticated and self-sufficient digital underground economy in which data is the illicit commodity. Stolen personal and financial data – used, for example, to gain access to existing bank accounts and credit cards, or to fraudulently establish new lines of credit – has a monetary value. This drives a range of criminal activities, including

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society