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Crime Security IT

Africa's Coming Cyber-Crime Epidemic 142

jfruh writes "Those Nigerian spam scams of the last decade may have just been the first step in a looming African cyber-crime wave. Africa has the world's fastest-growing middle class, whose members are increasingly tech-savvy and Internet connected — and the combination of ambitious, educated people, a ceiling on advancement due to corruption and lack of infrastructure, and lax law enforcement is a perfect petri dish for increased cybercrime."
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Africa's Coming Cyber-Crime Epidemic

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  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @04:11PM (#42453509)

    Africa is a huge continent. The US gets flooded with pictures of kids starving on a constant basis, but in reality, there are a lot of countries with a middle class, with middle class problems.

    What I wonder about is the concept of small, but agile ISPs, small enough to provide security on their end (firewalls, outgoing port 25 blocking unless it goes through a relay, even perhaps more active IDS/IPS items like blocking C&C hosts.) ISPs small enough that they can handle threats rapidly, but large enough to be fairly profitable.

    Defense in depth is critical, but there are places where one gets more bang for their naira on the network topology, mainly the edge routers, as well as different user segments.

    Just offering an "antivirus kit" won't help much, because of the difficulty of AV programs in catching zero-days. Ideally an IDS/IPS, with some way to allow subscribers to bypass it if they have some special requirement (like a personal mail server, or running some other incoming process) would help catch the larger attacks, and help protect against DoS/DDoS attacks which won't take down the ISP, but can take down a subscriber on DSL or cable.

    Nothing is perfect, but this is better than nothing.

  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @04:17PM (#42453569) Homepage Journal

    The highest growth rates in internet access, during the past 10 years, have been in nations earning about $3000 per year, or 1/10 the average GDP of "rich" nations. As more and more people get internet, we can expect the use of "cybercrime" to expand, just as we can expect car accidents to increase in nations where cars become affordable. Meanwhile, loans to Africans through organizations like are repaid at a higher rate than bank loans in America. I do a lot of business in the developing (or more aptly named, Emerging) world and find the "petri dish for increased cybercrime" alarmist. The rapid, rapid education and rise of geeks of color is a "petri dish" for film, art, photography, software development (see MEST in Ghana), blood banks, laughter, tears, hugs, etc. Yes, cyber crime will increase, like everything else will increase. The article is stupid.

    By the way, in case you missed it, the stories about "80-90% of e-waste exports" being burned by primitive African children has also been disproven by 3 separate studies. Africa has had television since I lived there in the 1980s, and the junk filmed burned at African landfills was in use for years, it's the same generation of waste as goes to our own landfills. Three studies showed that 80-90% of used computers imported are successfully reused and repaired. Articles like this one lead to profiling and arrests of good people as "e-waste criminals". The "other-ization" of geeks of color is really shameful.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva