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Online Crime Seen as Growing Threat to Business, Politics 89

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-we-all-just-play-some-wow dept.
BobB passed us a link to a NetworkWorld article, exploring the ongoing realization in business circles of the dangers online criminals pose. The piece raises the possibility that criminal elements are gaining access to US research labs in an effort to ferret out corporate and governmental information. One institute referred to in the article states: "Economic espionage will be increasingly common as nation-states use cyber theft of data to gain economic advantage in multinational deals. The attack of choice involves targeted spear phishing with attachments, using well-researched social engineering methods to make the victim believe that an attachment comes from a trusted source." We just recently discussed possible hacker involvement in several municipal blackouts.
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Online Crime Seen as Growing Threat to Business, Politics

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Esp. the harrassment of good citizens by the RIAA.
    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:17PM (#22114706) Homepage Journal

      This is just like CIA Claims Cyber Attackers Blacked Out Cities [slashdot.org] Do you see the common thread here? Same SANS "expert", too. The guy who gave CIA props for their "disclosure". I remember when SANS was a good, technical security training and education outfit. Now they are on the Richard Clarke / Howard Schmidt CyberTerror disinformation campaign. I would doubt the spook "creds" - if you'd call 'em that - of Alan Paller. The worst theft and correlation of personal data is an ongoing effort by the state - with the telcos CA-CHING! Billing all the while. The crooks and Terra-ists are a joke in comparison. T'rists didn't "lose" several BILLION US dollars in small, unmarked bills in Iraq.

      Who loses track of that kind of money? No one. Mistakes aren't made like that. Plans are. But we're supposed to be afraid of teh Internet now. Why? Cos' if we didn't have the 'net, we wouldn't know about that missing cash - or the validity of Operations MOCKINGBIRD, MKUltra, Northwoods, etc.

      AirTran? This is a great outfit [msn.com]!

      • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:26PM (#22114746) Homepage Journal
        While by no means perfect, the folks in the government are generally attempting to carry out the law of the land, as derived from the Constitution and obfuscated by the mound of subsequent documents.
        Reform, as with a really nasty codebase, is a matter of simplification.
        Which, as recent attempts to improve some sacred-cow entitlements shows, is a mother of a challenge.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The "Government" is not any one thing - generally. Specifically, there are aspects of the US Government that actively resist and subvert the interest of the American people.

          In fact the "government" is not trying to carry out the law of the land - but rather to use law as an instrument of power. The Government would abolish private, reserve currency, were it "desperately attempting, against all odds, trying to sensibly enforce the bogglingly complex and conflicted laws of the land." The argument is disinge
          • This "Government" - including the highest courts in the judiciary - have recently held forth on the proposition, that for legal purposes, prisoners in extra-judicial detention by the military and executive agencies are not "persons".

            Therefore, they are not afforded Constitutional guarantees for persons.

            Simultaneously, the rights of corporations as 'persons' for First Amendment protections - among others - is upheld.

            What is wrong with this picture?

            If you try and rationalise this situation, you are put in the

            • KSM was a looney, who admitted to being the man in the moon, once sufficiently tortured.

              If justice as persons is not universal, it is a fiction.
              • If justice as persons is not universal, it is a fiction.

                Sweet, sweet bumper sticker.
                Beyond the theological point, in reality, the difference between this theory and practice is greater in practice than in theory.
                Who gets to define symbols like 'justice', 'universal', and 'fiction' is one powerful bloke.
                Would that one could set an eternal champignon such as yourself up as POTUS, just to get your reaction to the negative feedback of even the simplest acts. ;)

                • by gr8scot (1172435)

                  If justice as persons is not universal, it is a fiction.

                  Sweet, sweet bumper sticker. Beyond the theological point, in reality, the difference between this theory and practice is greater in practice than in theory. Who gets to define symbols like 'justice', 'universal', and 'fiction' is one powerful bloke. Would that one could set an eternal champignon such as yourself up as POTUS, just to get your reaction to the negative feedback of even the simplest acts. ;)

                  Wouldn't a smaller & more open government, with less power to demand "openness" willy-nilly from citizens, exhibit those symptoms to a lesser degree?

                  • Is "less power to demand 'openness'" a figure of speech meaning "having diminished legal muscle to invade privacy", then, yes, I'd agree.
                    • by gr8scot (1172435)
                      Yes, that's a figure of speech I just concocted, and that's exactly what I want it to mean.

                      PS The preferred usage includes "willy-nilly" to emphasize that arbitrary, not valid surveillance, is the complaint.
            • The front page again illustrates "your" Government, struggling to do the best on your behalf:
              http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/20/1747201 [slashdot.org]

              "We invoke Executive Privilege to protect our PetroCo sponsors, and the globalists destroying the native industrial economy. BTW: breath smoke and like it!"

              "The AP reports that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has invoked executive privilege to justify withholding information in its response to a lawsuit. The state of California is challenging the agency's decision to block their attempt to curb the emissions from new cars and trucks. In response, the EPA has delivered documents requested by the Freedom of Information Act for the discovery phase of the lawsuit -- but the documents are heavily redacted. That is, the agency has revealed that it did spend many hours meeting to discuss the issue, but refuses to divulge the details or the outcomes of the meetings. Among the examples cited, 16 pages of a 43-page Powerpoint presentation are completely blank except for the page titles. An EPA spokesperson used language similar to other recent claims of executive privilege, citing 'the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting.'"

              • By the way, I'm not exactly a government apologist here. Concentrated government power generates bureaucratic singularities that could out-suck a black hole.
                Less is more.
                The chief point I want to make is that there are copious smart, dedicated individuals in the government, who, though arguably misguided, are making a sincere best effort. The task of the electorate is to have the courage to vote in some wiser leadership.
                • The electorate has almost no access to information about candidates that is unmediated by corporations with a horse in the race.

                  The narrow palate of "electable" candidates is not produced by a process in which 'the people' are in any way involved.

                  "Which of these mandated monopolies do you select?" is the way it's done here.

                  Political parties should be abolished, and the judicial decisions that equate corporations as persons AND those that equate spending to speech should be reversed. Then you'll have a begi
                  • Political parties should be abolished, and the judicial decisions that equate corporations as persons AND those that equate spending to speech should be reversed. Then you'll have a beginning. Dream on. :-)

                    Parties exist due to a requirement to aggregate power. If you haven't articulated a replacement that shows how we dispassionately aggregate power across the population, I fear that you haven't said much.
                    Obviously the internet provides some infrastructure, but the whole trust management question, which

          • ... is correct.

            The "Government" is not any one thing.

            I'd tell you to "think about it" but I know you already have. I'm just documenting my own lag behind you both presently.

            This is where, presently, I would substantially differ with you:

            What is wrong with this picture? If you try and rationalise this situation, you are put in the position of "the good Germans". The worst are American Liberals - completely enabling the subversion of basic rights and law, through rational acceptance of evil.

            Try this on for size:
            'Left' and 'Right' both complain that the Judicial and Executive Branches do not 'uphold' their un-Constitutional wishes to curtail others' means of Pursuit of Happiness. Meanwhile, I declare victory to the doctrine of 'Separation of Powers'

            I'll post an unequivocal 'up yours' or 'Meg

            • Meanwhile, I declare victory to the doctrine of 'Separation of Powers'
              I declare victory to the distracting sideshow - so you can get your pocket picked while figuring out which moving card is the ace.
      • by penix1 (722987) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:41PM (#22114810) Homepage
        The morons that put critical data / control on outward facing servers deserve the hosing they get. Who in their right mind thinks it is a good idea to put a power station's control on a server that is even connected to the Internet? That is just the stupidest thing I have ever read.

        I am more concerned about who they give physical access to the data / hardware are. All it takes is one vengeful employee and a thumb drive to lose very sensitive data. Worse, many companies that do lose data won't report the breach unless it involves a threat of lawsuit by irate customers. Then they will report it grudgingly and then only after days or even weeks and months have passed. Plenty of time for massive damage to be done.
        • by JavaRob (28971) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:11AM (#22115922) Homepage Journal

          The morons that put critical data / control on outward facing servers deserve the hosing they get. [...] I am more concerned about who they give physical access to the data / hardware are. All it takes is one vengeful employee and a thumb drive to lose very sensitive data.
          These are both examples where there's at least something individual companies can do about it internally.

          Personally, I was extremely unsettled a few years ago when the spammer powers-that-be decided they wanted BlueSecurity shut down [washingtonpost.com], and a bunch of DNS servers, Tucows and 4 other hosting providers, and SixApart/LiveJournal/TypePad [wired.com] fell as collateral damage.

          Is that not *scarier* for business? Let's see -- I'm free to conduct my business... as long as I don't step on any toes in the organized crime world. 'Cause if I do, they're shutting me down whenever they feel like it, and there's not a damned thing I (or the supposed "protection" of the law) can do about it.

          And of course, no power, once it exists, goes unused for very long. I see more and more stories about botnets used for extortion -- which is a bit trickier to carry out, since it's tough to get paid without a money trail, and law enforcement has more experience dealing with that -- but it's just another example. If they just want to squelch my business, it's incredibly easy.

          [Addendum: oh look... the article points to cyber espionage as #3 in the SANS institute's top 10 threats of 2008 [sans.org]; botnets are #2]
        • The morons that put critical data / control on outward facing servers deserve the hosing they get. Who in their right mind thinks it is a good idea to put a power station's control on a server that is even connected to the Internet? That is just the stupidest thing I have ever read.
          Second stupidest, and falling, I believe that is. Perspective matters very much when using the superlative form, dude. Some very, very stupid people have the right to vote, including you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by OldHawk777 (19923) *
        Old saying; "Two coincidences indicate intention."

        The flaming-feuer Bush, staff, congress, senate, CIA, FBI, NSA, TelCo, OilCo, InsureCo ... have been totally coincidental for over six years now, blatantly conspicuous, overtly obvious ... to all US Citizens ... except for the mentally/emotionally dogma-blinded sick, many intelligent marginally-literate US Citizens intentional left behind over decades, and the very respectable simple minded.

        The CIA just wants a domino-theory cold-war budget. What clueless Ge
  • by madhuri (1014279) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:56PM (#22114588)
    Looks like we need to call in Eric Menhart to lay down the CyberLaw(TM)...
  • by unassimilatible (225662) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:03PM (#22114626) Journal
    Used to be, mafia guys would have no Social Security card, driver's license, or bank accounts to avoid being traced by law enforcement or the IRS. Now, I feel like having none of those things to avoid the crooks online.
    • Yup, I think it is time to move to a shack in Montana to maintain your anonymity. I heard that there is one going cheap - Una, Una Kazomething... Yeah, that's the place...
    • > Used to be, mafia guys would have no Social Security card,
      > driver's license, or bank accounts to avoid being traced
      > by law enforcement or the IRS.

      Nowadays the mafia guys have multiple SS cards, drivers licenses and bank accounts -- all belonging to other people. :-)
  • ... of search engines like google.

    Not to mention the ease of leaking/bribing information today when combined with google, cam cell phones, etc.
  • Just a matter of time before online crime became a threat to the good old-fashioned kind.
  • Fixed that for you (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @02:04AM (#22115412) Journal

    Online Crime Facilitates Political, Business Growth.

    Seriously, who profits from the stuff that makes the headlines? It sure isn't me; I'm only into grey-area piracy.

  • With all the whoohaa around hacking, phishing, cyber attacks and copyright infringement, I think it is very important to make sure when one talks about "Cyber Crime" there is a definite understanding of what exactly is being referred to.

    If that is not done, dangerous grounds are set for criminalizing millions, oh wait, the RIAA is already doing that...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The internet has been an inconvenience to the gov, as it closes our open society and political system, moves to a fascist system.

    See the Naomi Wolf YouTube interviews / lectures, read her book. This is one of many commentators who have finally understood that the US is now a police state. We don't yet have a crackdown on ordinary people, but the pressure on people who disagree with George Bush gets higher every year.

    Democrats aren't interested in fixing this, they want to inherit.

    So, expect a lot more att
  • See also these talks:

    Crouching Powerpoint, Hidden Trojan
    An analysis of targeted attacks from 2005 to 2007
    http://events.ccc.de/congress/2007/Fahrplan/track/Hacking/2189.en.html [events.ccc.de]

    Cybercrime 2.0
    Storm Worm
    http://events.ccc.de/congress/2007/Fahrplan/track/Hacking/2318.en.html [events.ccc.de]
  • Online Crime Scene as Growing Threat to Business, Politics couldn't understand what I was seeing for a second there.

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