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Showing posts tagged with Cybercrime Grit & Grime
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Doug McLean | 22 Jun 2009 | 0 comments

I've been reviewing some of the other blogs covering cybercrime and want to share with you five that I've found most interesting.

Kenyantykoon's Blog on African Cybercrime: A very good country-by-country summary of one of the hot beds of cybercrime.

Cybercrime and Doing Time: One of the older blogs on cybercrime written by Gary Warner, Director of Research in Computer Forensics at the University of Alabama.  He tends to focus on spam and phishing scams.  He writes very cogently about cybercrime. This is a typical post on the current Bank of America phishing scam.

Schneier on Security: Not specifically focused on cybercrime, but deals with it frequently...

Doug McLean | 15 May 2009 | 0 comments

dmclean_webfinalWe spend a lot of space on our blogs talking about the hard and soft costs of data breaches. PGP Corporation also sponsors the annual Ponemon surveys of this topic. I don't tend to focus on it in my blog because I find the crimes that cause breaches so interesting, but last week I saw some new numbers that are truly startling.  Heartland Payment Systems released their Q1 earnings report. According to this story at, Heartland has so far spent $12.6 million to remediate the breach they experienced in December. The...

Doug McLean | 08 May 2009 | 0 comments

There have been a number of calls lately for the creation of an agency like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) focused on the Internet. The theory is that by integrating the currently fragmented cyber-security efforts of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, OMB and a half dozen other agencies, that we’ll be better able to respond to cyber-attacks from predators foreign and domestic. While such integration is surely needed and is very effectively documented in the recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), I’m not sure that a “Cyber-FEMA” is enough to address the threats now bearing down on the nation’s Internet infrastructure.

While FEMA’s charter is formally defined to be both proactive and reactive, the fact is that it’s core mission is to react when disasters both natural and man-made occur. While it’s easy to build a case that...

Doug McLean | 14 Apr 2009 | 2 comments

dmcleanEarlier this month, Senators John Rockefeller (D, West Virgina) and Olympia Snowe (R, Maine) introduced S.773, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009. It's actually a companion bill to one they proposed a few days earlier to create a cabinet level Cybersecurity Czar. It's S.773,  however, that contains all of the meat in the Senate's attempt to legislate better cybersecurity. We've seen half-hearted attempts to do this in the past, but as Chairman of Senate Committee that overseas Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senator Rockefeller's bill will be seriously considered and Senator Snowe's presence on the co-sponsor list indicates that it will also have at least some bipartisan support.

At 53...

Doug McLean | 18 Mar 2009 | 0 comments

Silicon Valley is served by several public radio stations. One of the better weekend shows is entitled "On the Media" produced by WNYC in New York. Typically, it provides good review and analysis of how the mainstream media covered the election or the economy during the previous week. This week, however, they started a three part series to look back at the last 40 years of the Internet, its promise, its problems and its future.

The first installment is entitled "The Net's Midlife Crisis" and focuses on the security issues the Internet now faces. If this installment is anything to judge by, this could be one of the better Internet retrospective pieces ever. The podcast and transcript are here, but what's even more interesting in my view are the detailed interviews (available only online) with PGP Corporation advisor ...

Doug McLean | 13 Mar 2009 | 0 comments

I had the privilege last week of attending a joint meeting of the Internet Security Alliance, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Software Alliance, and TechAmerica. The guest of honor was Melissa Hathaway who was appointed Acting Senior Director of Cybersecurity by President Obama last month. Her brief is to conduct a 60 day review to, as the press release put it;

“… develop a strategic framework to ensure that U.S. Government cyber security initiatives are appropriately integrated, resourced and coordinated with Congress and the private sector.”

Most recently Ms. Hathaway served in the Bush administration under National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.

Speaking in an open forum is a...

Doug McLean | 25 Feb 2009 | 0 comments

I wrote about this case in October and thought at the time it represented a case of prosecutorial indulgence. The issue at stake here is whether or not an undocumented immigrant that uses false identification can be charged with identity theft if the data on the false documentation actually belongs to someone else.

To be clear, the case does not address the issues associated with immigrating illegally or using false documents to obtain work or social benefits. Even the defendent's counsel concedes his client is guilty of those infractions. The sole issue in question here is if you create or purchase a fake Social Security card with an I.D. number on it that belongs to someone else, have you in addition committed identity theft.  It seems like a reach to me and  in October the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. Based on this...

Doug McLean | 02 Feb 2009 | 0 comments

A couple of days after I wrote last week that we will likely see an increase in the incidence of cybercrime as the world weathers the recession, the Wall Street Journal, in its role as an actual news gathering organization, documented what some analysts are seeing.

The bulk of the story appears based on an interview with Avivah Litan of the Gartner Group as many of the facts in the store come from presentations I've seen Ms. Litan do at various Gartner conferences. She is, incidently, one of the most articulate analysts covering the cybercrime space. If you ever have a chance to see her The story also contains some data from the FBIs Internet Crime Complaint Center, but as it dates from , it doesn't really shed much light on what's happening currently.

The most interesting part of the story for me is the...

Doug McLean | 26 Jan 2009 | 0 comments

ZDNet in the UK is reporting an interesting consequence of the spreading global recession. It seems that many British technology companies that have historically contributed to the Police Central E-crime Unit (PCeU) are instead offering staff in lieu of cash. For those of you that don't follow global economic trends closely, it would appear that the UK is in for an even worse time in this recession than the American (and most other) economies. While the credit crisis may have begun in the U.S., it's hitting the UK much harder due to the relatively higher levels of consumer debt that drove much of the economic growth in the last few years.

Consequently, many tech firms have decided they are better off loaning people to the PCeU rather than writing checks. Ironically, this is probably a better approach to fighting cybercrime than simply handing the authorities money. As both the Center...

Doug McLean | 16 Jan 2009 | 2 comments

Impressive piece by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway here.

Mr. Conway is clearly one of the more technically savvy law enforcement officers in the U.S.  He is obviously committed to ensuring that the Kentuck criminal code keeps pace with the new forms anti-social behavior that are enabled by the Internet.

Beyond that, however, Mr. Conway is also investing heavily in educational programs to ensure both parents and minors are aware of some of the risks posed by predators hiding behind the anonymity of the 'net.

Finally, his office maintains a very good web site on safe Internet usage that includes topics such as identity theft, cyberstalking, and even safest way to use the burgeoning social networking sites.

Jack Conway is to be commended for his forward thinking ideas on protecting the citizens of Kentucky....