Forum 6: Cyber Crime

Our final discussion forum for this course will focus on cybercrime, I would focus more on political dimensions on cyber security and cyber war in class. Cybercrime remains a crucial component in the larger framing of cybersecurity thus I would like you to watch the two/three video presentations and article on cyber security/cyber crime hosted on the Google Drive and enter a conversation on how you feel cybercrime is challenging established legal and security norms in the United States as well as the rest of the world.

G Drive link: http://tinyurl.com/mtyqo62

This forum will be live till Midnight of 12 April 2015

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87 thoughts on “Forum 6: Cyber Crime

    Alita said:
    April 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    As we saw in the interview with Misha on the Dark Market of Cyber Crime criminals all around us are changing and advancing. It’s out with the old and in with the new as far as crime is considered. The ‘real world criminal’ like the mafia has one unifying thing, they have to be able to deploy or credibly threaten violence, for example: ‘if you don’t do what I say I will shoot you.’ Cyber criminals, however, have advanced beyond this method. No threat is needed to enforce their will and because of this a new type of criminal is emerging. These criminals, without the need for muscle, can be younger and often are more intelligent with a different set of skills in hacking and engineering. Misha walked us through some of the basics of cyber crime like credit card fraud, phantom checks being made and sent, all the way up to more advanced forms of cyber warfare like controlling and attacking electric grids of a countries water system. The extent to which cyber criminals can affect the daily lives is staggering and continued to shock me as I watched the Ted Talk on computer viruses. With statistics emerging like the fact that there are 250,000 new viruses being created a day, 30,000 websites being effected a day with 80% of these websites being small businesses it is shocking this is not more of a known issue.
    Another terrifying aspect to the Ted Talk was the fact that these viruses can be easily purchased and downloaded online from retailers. They are known as ‘crime packs’ or ‘black whole exploit packs’ and even come with customer service options where you can speak to an online cyber hacker about how to achieve the best results possible.
    I personally feel that cyber hackers are violating certain security norms that we have in place here in the US. One of which that I find very scary is that hackers have the ability to view us through our webcams. Here is a fictional reenactment of a real like occurrence that happened reflecting the dangers of cyber hackers hacking our webcams. (scroll to bottom of page for video)

    http://aplus.com/a/webcam-short-film-spying-hacking?so=p8hosTbUWnH6tMeWY29VUC&ref=ns

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 9, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Do you think ordinary people still have an idea about the level of sophistication of cyber crime? if not why do you think given the magnitude of the crimes still people are not feeling it?

        Alita said:
        April 11, 2015 at 11:46 am

        I do not think people have an idea about the magnitude of cyber crime. However, I don’t see this changing anytime soon due to the sophistication of this type of crime. ‘Real world crimes’ are easier to understand because we see them all around us everyday dramatized on TV and in movies. America is obsessed with crime shows heavily featuring guns, drugs, violences, and other forms of traditional crimes. Recently though CSI: CYBER launched and this is a way the general public may because more familiar with the level of sophistication in cyber crime. Making this kind of crime glamorous and more showy will help it become more known.

        Grace said:
        April 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm

        I agree with alitas points on people maybe not knowing the magnitude of cyber crimes and being obsessed with crimes but i also think that people in this day and age don’t want to give up there ability to access things quickly and freely. This day and age people are so used to having everything at there finger tips and changing this could be hard. People are scared of the crime but do not want things to be harder for them as well. People do not want to go back to dealing with cash and checks, credit cards make everything simpler. They also give people the ability to buy things without having to pay on the spot. So in the end, i feel like even if the magnitude of the crime is apparent people would not want the change and as a result were stuck with this danger of cyber crime.

        cyberoutpost responded:
        April 12, 2015 at 9:54 pm

        I am interested to see what you think about the videos/ reading any specific points or observations would be interesting

        Grace said:
        April 12, 2015 at 11:54 pm

        Yes, James Lyne talked about this in his video. That the internet is important part of our everyday life, that we love it and use it because of the connivence it provides. However it can create problem quickly but we need to be more conscious of these problem. That we have to be proactive citizens and not just blame the government. We should change our passwords on our devices. I think we cannot get away with putting in little effort, in todays day and age we cannot play dumb anymore. We have to put in effort for the connivances we love so much. If we change it “at minimum create an economic drag” and that is something no nation can afford. So we should not change or want to get rid of the conveniences that the internet give us but as a result we must present in what the dangers can bring forward because going backwards would only be a short term solution.

    Zoë Kagan said:
    April 8, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Just as activism toward freedoms can be advanced through the web socially and politically, so can crime. It is not unique at this point in history, it is just following a trend: when our technology advances, so do ways to bring it down. We cannot view the internet so optimistically; it empowers people for good, but also for much less beneficial reasons than some that we have looked at in class previously. As the TED Talk demonstrates, malware is strange as takes over a computer. It is written in code, and (for me) hard to understand but very powerful. I agree with you, Alita, in what you’ve referenced from the TED Talk, that it is pretty terrifying. Specifically terrifying is the fact that hacking is even becoming a commodity that can be bought in order to bring down online entities, by other online entities. I feel that one of the biggest threats of the internet naturally lies in one of the best features of the internet. The fact that the internet represents a certain freedom that is largely not controlled is one of its best but also most dangerous features. Once an online entity gains more resources than a government resource, government control is then out as an option which can become a threat via options like hacking. A second and hugely important threat than involves individuals as well as governments is the fact that we simply do not know enough information about our interactions with the internet to keep us safe. When we upload information to the internet, it is likely not as safe as we think it is.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 9, 2015 at 10:20 am

      The point about cyber crime representing something beyond government control and government comprehension is important you can discuss the repercussions further and what can be done to mitigate the effects

        Zoë Kagan said:
        April 12, 2015 at 10:45 pm

        One point that was raised in Shull’s internet governance paper on Cyber crime dealt with the means of mitigation. Not surprisingly, it is no small feat to respond to or protect against cyber crime. This is because we know so little about it. The foundation of security for most governments does not include cyber crime because it is such a new platform and it is impossible at this point for any government to be fully prepared in terms of repercussions of cyber crime and other cyber interactions. Shull notes that China for example is currently still in developmental stages of cyber crime legislation, which is not unlike other powerful countries like the U.S. which has only recently included cyber aspects of government issues into its legislation. We have discussed also how this is built into the U.S.’s soft power and also its citizens’ knowledge of the internet and internet interactions. Though China is similar in beginning to develop its strategies, it also applies to very different situations in terms of how it will manage internet freedoms currently and in the near future. On page 12, Shull also makes a very interesting point that the “Chinese government and Chinese companies have a significant incentive to engage in economic espionage. Additionally, given the technical difficulties related to attribution, they can engage in wholesale electronic espionage with little serious risk of reprisal.” As powerful nations grow stronger over various field including international economics, the internet will play a role and this is something that countries should be looking to protect against in the cyber aspect.

      Alita said:
      April 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Very interesting and accurate points about government control in the realm of the cyber world. I think one of the most special things about the internet is its freedom to express though. Just like in tangible life there will be those individuals that misuse and take advantage of others. However, the wrong doers in the world of cyber crime, I feel, do not overshadow the positive ways in which the internet can be used to bring about real and permeant good.

      Louie Freda said:
      April 11, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Zoe and Alitia, great insights. I share your alarm at the possibilities of cyber attacks. Something that I didn’t know was that by simply accessing the most recent Wi-Fi networks you have visited hackers can map out your past locations very accurately. I think it begs the question, what else don’t we know? Because cyberspace isn’t limited by normal geographic boundaries it can expand into areas we wouldn’t ever think about. Our lack of knowledge doesn’t make us vulnerable, everyone is vulnerable; it makes us an attractive target. I think that government should start to teach kids as part of their elementary school education about developing cyber technology and how to use it safety. As far as people already out of elementary school I really wish someone, like the speaker who gave the TED talk, would publish a Cyberspace For Dummies book. The key to using cyber technologies more safely is learning about what activities put you at risk.

        Kyle Swartz said:
        April 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        Louie, I completely agree with you. The government should definitely create mandatory school programs to educate students on proper use of the internet as well as offering coding classes to potentially increase our security as a country in the future. One thing I would ask though is that do you think that it would be unsafe to educate US citizens on the creation of cyber technologies? The reason I ask is because there is the argument that it would only increase the population of people who know how to get around such technology. I agree with you and think that our lack of knowledge is a major weakness but it is extremely controversial because we are venturing into unknown territory since this is such a new topic to the world. Its crazy to think about how easy it is for cyber criminals to find out anything they want about you so I do think education is the correct first step toward leveling the playing field.

        Zoë Kagan said:
        April 12, 2015 at 8:24 pm

        Louie, this was one of the points that was particularly surprising to me as well. There is so much that we do not know about how traces are left on the internet. We are simply not exposed to it. Also mentioned in the TED Talk was the fact that photos that we post are often encrypted with information that can be exposed very simply. If coordinates are tagged using the photo, this is a simple way to determine location. Other information can also help to narrow down the photograph by looking at the details behind its file type. The fact that we are only just beginning to be exposed to this is a fault of the way that we learn about the internet. I believe that it is because what have been the foundation of established legal norms and security norms are only beginning to encompass what we do and how we interact with the internet.

        Ibrahim Khan said:
        April 12, 2015 at 10:51 pm

        I agree with you Loiue on the fact that government should make it mandatory to teach kids and also have programmes for older generation to learn about how to tackle cyber crimes. As Lynn in his TED talk stated that 99 percent of the times these viruses and cyber crimes get successful is due to the lack of knowledge people have regarding the basic protection techniques. It is surprising and shocking to learn how vulnerable each one of us is in becoming a victim of these crimes. This issue must be raised so that people on individual level can act accordingly to help people like Lynn and Misha in making cyber criminals lives much harder, as they themselves stated in the videos.

      Joe said:
      April 12, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      The start of your post is very interesting. I like how you showed the different perspectives on the internet, while it may be a strong tool for advancing, it is also a strong tool for crime. The fact that hacking can be bought as a commodity scares me as well. Essentially internet users have the resources to purchase illegal services, for their own good. Should the fact that the internet is not controlled be changed? Will it be more beneficial or destructive to internet users?

    Michael Edson said:
    April 9, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    cybercrime is the new form of criminal activity. It is safer and easier to hack than it is to physical commit a crime. When watching the TED talk I got a good understanding of how easy it was to track and find identity thief’s around the world. From not even using special software to find these people. The internet gives us all these tools that we can access but we have to realize there are criminals trying to steal ideas and profits from individuals. This makes this a power struggle for politics because people see the internet as the peoples source that is not ruled by the government, While governments want to have some control over peoples activities to keep eye on illegal activities. Cyber security is the biggest controversy in our time because governments want to help protect the people but citizens do not want to be over watched by governments. For a personal matter, I do not want the government to watch every activity I do on the internet because from the information I search there might be a profile about who I am. This now brings it back to net-neutrality. Having a safe secure internet while maintaining a personal profile on the internet. States will have to look at keeping the internet safe of criminal hackers but not violating citizens freedom on the internet. As we saw with Egypt if the government controls the internet and communications there could be a revolt of the state.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 9, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Mike, I feel you are trying to say a lot in this one comment, why not break these ideas down further, I am trying to understand your comment are you saying Cyber Crime is a result or a reaction to government clamp down on the internet?

        Michael Edson said:
        April 12, 2015 at 9:07 pm

        cyber crimes is a reaction to government clamp down. When freedom is taken away from the people there can be negative reactions. People do not like change and when something is restricted increase in crime will occur most of the time. Most of the people do not commit crimes for the fun of it. It is a reaction to someone or organization hurting an individual.

      Cam Hickey said:
      April 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Mike I like how you brought the idea of net neutrality into the discussion as i to believe that cyber security should be part of the talks about government surveillance. But do you think that with the increase presence of hackers online, the argument for cyber security through some sort of government surveillance makes sense. I’m not saying im for complete government surveillance, but after watching the videos there’s no doubt that i would’t mind having someone looking out for me.

        Michael Edson said:
        April 12, 2015 at 9:11 pm

        I agree with you Cam. I think that governments should be allowed to surveillance online hackers but then it gets to a part when they abuse the system. While there should be net neutrality I believe that there should be security first. I do not want my life ruined by a hacker, I want some type of security to have that freedom on the internet.

    Louie Freda said:
    April 9, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    In the United States I feel safe, but not in areas of cyber security. As it was highlighted, much to the dismay of the Al Jazeera moderator, no one is really safe from cyber attacks. In the United States, the government can not protect you from a cyber attack from a determined attacker. Typically if you feel unsafe you can turn to the power of protection provided by the legal, normal aspects of government. You can call the police, email your representative and see the raw power of military action. I don’t feel that Cyber Command and Cyber crime task forces are up to the challenge that is presented by cyber threats, and pessimistically I don’t think it is completely possible to respond to all cybercrimes. More disturbing than the insecurity I feel is the knee-jerk reaction to what the video calls “draconian legislation.” I loved the quote from Benjamin franklin saying something along the lines that those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety. I believe that the fear that results from a lack of real protection results in an infringement of our civil liberties. What used to be a completely inappropriate action becomes a security “norm” because we are acting out fear. Cybercrime is a real and present danger, but we shouldn’t let it bully us into allowing our rights to be taken in the name of establishing a secure web.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      I feel you also touch on the line of state control over the internet and its relationship with Cyber Crime, don’t you think cyber crime has to be responded with some robust regulation?

        Louie Freda said:
        April 10, 2015 at 2:28 pm

        Professor, I certainly think cyber crime has to be responded with robust regulation in the form of legislation. I believe a foolish response is a rushed, drastic piece of legislation that is more of a response to our fear of cyber crime than a response to the legitimate threat cyber crime poses the global community. The regulation against cyber crime needs to be strong and comprehensive, offering law enforcement and government the legal basis they need to offer security. The regulation should not be undertaken quickly, in order to be effective this legislation must be powerful, but it should not require us to sacrifice essential liberties. In order to strike this balance it will take time and careful consideration, we should not accept a sweeping regulation in an effort to get something done quickly. It would be easy to pass sweeping legislation that seriously deterred cyber crime, but that would be stupid. We should acknowledge that we are afraid of the scope and capabilities of cyber crime but we should show courage and resist the natural temptation to search for the quick fix.

        Zayn Thompson said:
        April 12, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        Louie, I definitely agree with you about your points that cyber security could be safer here in the United States, and that everyone is readily vulnerable to them at any time. I like how you take an aggressive approach when talking about combating cyber crimes, as they are a very serious threat, and especially with technology becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives everyday, that makes them just that more dangerous. By taking an aggressive stance against cyber crime, a safer and more secure Internet is more feasible. Like you said, a rushed and superficial piece of legislation isn’t what we need. We don’t need a stop for the short term, rather we need to draft a strong piece that can be a long-term solution to cyber criminals.

      Joe said:
      April 12, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      I could not agree with you more Louie, however I feel as if it is out of our hands. I feel like web-hackers are so sophisticated in their practice, and what they do, that it is up to them wether or not they choose to “bully” us. Besides the standard procedures to keep your data safe, like changing your password and being smart online, what else is their to do? It is in our governments hands to figure out a way to create a more secure internet. One thing I fear regarding our government taking action, is the reaction it may get from the american people. There is a strong possibility that making the internet safer may be by restricting what we do on the internet. If that is the case, it may not sit well with many internet governance activists.

    Zayn Thompson said:
    April 10, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    The TED Talk with James Lyne on everyday cybercrime really shows how vulnerable we are to attacks. With his example of how a simple task on a flash drive can turn into an all out cyberattack on a computer, it really brings up cause for concern in terms of cyber security, because it can be fairly easy to infect computers. Fake antivirus software seems to be a common way to gain access, as the virus itself does the hacking and supplies the antivirus software. What I found interesting was that over 80% of these attacks occur on small businesses, which raises concern in the United States because that is a large sector in the country which has proven to be very vulnerable to these attacks. Another interesting thing he talked about was selling your services as a hacker to take out a competitors website and company. This is where legality and policies become more important, as I think the United States will need to take steps towards preventing the use of and selling of hacking services. The surprising things is that just by gathering a little bit of information, a hacker can see your photos, use your webcam, and see where you have been and even what sites you visit. After watching this video, I recognize that this cybercrime poses serious threats to the security of people, and the capabilities are extremely high and are still growing.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      I think what you are touching on is important, especially the victims of cyber crime may not necessarily fall under the radar of the state, and state seems to be still focused on securing larger critical infrastructures or supporting major corporations, that it self leads many Americans vulnerable.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      I think what you are touching on is important, especially the victims of cyber crime may not necessarily fall under the radar of the state, and state seems to be still focused on securing larger critical infrastructures or supporting major corporations, that it self leads many Americans vulnerable.

      Louie Freda said:
      April 12, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Zayn, I thought the point mentioning that small business are often targeted by cyber criminal was very interesting as well. Do you think that governments should focus on protecting large corporations or small business? Is it possible to do both effectively or does government really have to focus on one aspect? I think small business are targeted more because internet traffickers are unlikely to suspect that the local mom and pop store has been infiltrated and is capable of attacking them over the web. I believe cyber criminals also target small business because they often run on smaller budgets that don’t allocate much or any to cyber security, making them easy targets for criminals. A natural follow up question is, should small business be held accountable for cyber criminals infiltrating their websites? Or should government? I feel like the TED talk scratched the surface of what is a really difficult and in depth debate about who should be protected by whom and who should be held responsible.

        Zayn Thompson said:
        April 12, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        Louie, I think that governments should focus more on small businesses, for many reasons. The first is that small businesses are, and have proven to be, much more vulnerable to infiltration from cyber criminals, maybe it’s because these business may not have the same high end security that big corporations do due to budget among other reasons, but it leaves them as an easier target to prey upon. The budget of small businesses go directly into the business, usually not cyber security. The second reason why governmental policy should be geared towards the smaller business is because they make up the vast majority of all of businesses in the United States, amounting to about 98-99% of all businesses. So some policies that are passes, if they are towards smaller businesses, would cover the majority of all of them. I also definitely agree with your point that small mom and pop stores would be unlikely to suspect or detect cyber activity. Whereas big corporations have high end technology and cyber professionals, these small business usually don’t have anyone who specializes in that area. For your last question, I don’t think small businesses should necessarily be held accountable for being broken into, but they should make efforts to increase their protection. Governments, on the other hand, I don’t think would be responsible. Unless some huge change in policy happens, such as they socialize cyber security for small businesses or something like that, they can’t really be held accountable.

        cyberoutpost responded:
        April 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm

        I am enjoying this conversation and debate about small business and state role in cyber crime prevention very interesting and very timely

    Kyle Swartz said:
    April 10, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Cyber crimes are by far the most difficult to solve and that is why I feel as though nobody is truly protected from them. Although James Lyne discussed the issue of tracking down the cyber criminals in Russia, all three videos as well as the article to some degree discussed the difficulty of establishing some sense of justice with crimes committed over the internet. During the Al Jezeera video it was mentioned that it is not a matter of if you will be hacked, it is a matter of when and if you are prepared. With credit card information so easily available from large companies how can banks and companies justify that our information is safe when it is only safe until someone is able to access it? It is only a matter of time until private information is stolen from these companies and cyber criminals aren’t dissuaded because there aren’t repercussions if they are good at using a computer. It’s scary to think that our lives can be destroyed with one wrong click on a website or email and that the people who commit these crimes more often than not get away with what they do. With just under 100 million new viruses per year, people still don’t seem to exercise caution on the internet and with their personal information. The fact that most photos have a GPS encryption within them basically tells cyber criminals where you are. That combined with the fact that when our computers and phones search for wifi signals, they send out information telling of past wifi connections, most of which can tell people where you’ve been and where you live. There is even an episode of the show “Catfish” which discusses how a stalker used such information and techniques to spy on his victim over her webcam and steal her credit card information.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 10, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      You can expand further on key observation you make, the damage cyber crime can have on individuals and why do you think even the United States seem to be not doing going at protecting or securing its citizens in the cyber realm

        Kyle Swartz said:
        April 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        It is in many cases difficult for individuals to feel the effects of cyber crimes especially those affecting credit cards because banks are insured to protect against such events. In one of the videos, the example was used that if problems arise and an individual checks their credit card statement to find that someone has made purchases using their credit card, it is easy to just call the bank to tell them of the fraudulent charges and they erase the charges from your account. Then they reimburse you and send you a new card in the mail. Some examples of recent credit card cyber crimes include Target in 2013, Home Depot in 2014, and Sony Playstation Network in 2011. The Playstation hack was different than Target and Home Depot however, because individuals really felt the affects of these cyber crimes. Not only did the hackers steal account and credit card information, but they managed to bring down the entire playstation network for 23 days preventing almost 100 million accounts from accessing Sony’s online network. From a global standpoint I believe that cyber crimes make it hard for individuals to trust technology and since technology is the future it holds society back from advancing when individuals aren’t willing to use technology. I also believe that the United States makes a decent effort to protect its citizens from the cyber realm, but the US government is coming at this from a cost, benefit perspective. The government (and other large corporations) aren’t willing to spend the money on technology that they know will be outdated and hacked in a matter of months. In their perspective it is cheaper to pay damages and upgrade security/technology every so often than to continuously upgrade in an attempt to protect themselves (which is not a guarantee).

        cyberoutpost responded:
        April 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm

        Kyle, you bring out a great point about life cycle of technology and state non commitment which is something many may have not thought about do elaborate on it that is great point!

      Joe said:
      April 12, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Kyle, I agree with you concerning the level of difficulty behind catching a cyber criminal. One thing that stood out to me during the ted talk was how he mentioned that people knew cyber criminals were out there, yet they still continue to steal money without being caught. Another great point you made was about financial security. How can we know our bank accounts are truly safe from being hacked. Maybe in todays day and age it would be smarter not to leave your money with a bank, due to the amount of cyber crime in our world.

        Kyle Swartz said:
        April 12, 2015 at 7:59 pm

        Professor- There is a term used in computing known as “Moore’s Law” that basically states that the processing power of computers doubles every two years. (As a sequence of numbers it looks something like this: 1-2-4-8-16-…etc). This means that technology decays exponentially in how powerful or effective it is. When large companies are paying tens of millions of dollars for technology to keep their systems safe, it would be expected that its effectiveness would last for more than a couple of years. This is why companies don’t spend the money to consistently upgrade their cyber security. They would prefer to simply upgrade their security technology every 4 or 6 or 8 years instead of every two in order to save millions of dollars in security expenses. This kind of thinking is what leaves them completely exposed, and what states need to realize is that with cyber security, it is either all in or all out. They must invest in the most recent security technology or they might as well not even have any.

        Joe- You are completely right, I don’t believe it is possible to have complete trust with banks especially when they are unwilling to do whatever it takes to prevent cyber crimes from occurring. Maybe it would be safer to just leave our money in a random vault somewhere.

    Andrew Wanamaker said:
    April 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    After listening to the different view points on South 2 North and the Ted talk, I believe that Misha and James Lyne brought out some very insightful points regarding “Cyber Crime.” The biggest most puzzling aspect in my opinion is how big the under world of Cyber Crime is. Typically if you commit a crime domestically whether it is rob a bank, hit and run, defraud investors in a ponzi scheme, commit violent acts that physically harm someone chances are you will be caught and locked up. When you compare the Cyber criminals to criminals 20 years ago there is an enormous network. Since Cyber Crime it is often indirect harm the ability of one person over the cyber network has the power to harm thousands of people. It is such a new phenomenon that there is almost no way to fully regulate and control the potential hazards that can come arise from cyber hackers. Before the world wide web was around the only way someone would be able to gain credit card information or social security numbers was to physically steal a document or word sheet where there was limited ability to do so, but now a criminal sitting in a random location throughout the globe has the ability to infiltrate servers and steal mass amounts of data. Never in history has there been such a powerful force like this, the only cross comparison I can relate this indirectly to is the effects of nuclear weapons and their ability to mass destruct societies, however in cyber attacks a quite different form.

    I really liked Misha;s ideas that we should not over regulate and take aaway personal freedoms quite yet. What I agree with them regarding how to protect yourself from potential hazards is to carefully monitor what you do on the internet. The government can continue to spend millions of dollars but with hacking there is never going to be a firewall that fully shields the smartest hacker from breaking through the bricks. In terms of our personal responsibility we are lucky that if our credit cards get hacked we have the banks to help protect us and not make us liable for fraud. The main area of concern we all need to be careful about is what we post and say to people over the internet because chances are that could be recovered, but most likely will not. The internet is enormous, it is so vast that the chances that one of us will fall victim is possible however like James Lynne mentioned you probably do not have to worry too much.

    The major threat I think our country may face is North Korea’s ability to hack and infiltrate into our nuclear power plants. System geniuses ability to indirectly cause physical harm through a technological data base is a scary thought. Also hacking into Air Traffic Control and taking control of domestic airlines could cause catastrophic events. Have we reached a point in time where we are jeopardizing our protection and personal liberties over convenience? Maybe we need to re think how we use the internet. The fact that extremely sensitive and technical services are potentially open to be hacked is a scary thought. Government information maybe should be safe guarded in a vault on pen and paper like it was 25 years ago. By opening up and putting data into an accessible server, there is never a guarantee it won’t be opened up by an outsider….

      Mike Gellman said:
      April 11, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      Andrew, I really like your points on the serious issues that arise from cyber crime. I agree that with the current way the internet is used both by citizens and governments is a recipe for disaster in many cases. I’m interested to hear how you think cyber crime should be addressed on a international level. Do you think that serious international legislation would be effective? Or should it be left to states to deal with it domestically?

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      I think you bring cyber crime and cyber security discussion into the forum, i think it would be great if you can give priority to cyber crime in this conversation what do you think will be the most damaging implication of cyber crime personal cost or national economies?

    Mike Gellman said:
    April 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    These sources did a great job at illustrating how serious of a threat that cyber crime has become in this day and age.
    The first source I looked at was the TED talk with Cybersecurity specialist James Lyne. Between failed attempts at humor, Lyne gave an interesting presentation on how cyber criminals infiltrate peoples computers. The part of this presentation that stood out to me was how most of these methods relied on people’s ignorance in order to work. This shows a clear lack of understanding from the average person when it comes to cyber security. Lyne expands on this point later in the talk when he talks about a concerning trend he’s seen where there are more people that know how to use technology but less that actually know how it works (for example, there has been 60% reduction in A-Level IT personal since 2003 in the UK). This in understandable due to how fast technology has advanced in such a short period of time. However, it should be viewed as serious issue that people need to be educated on.
    The article on Global Crime takes a look at how cyber crime has had an effect on politics and law. The main issue that it points out is that major state actors are using cyber crime in an attempt to advance their economic and geo-strategic interests. The problem with this is that activities like this can erode the trust that is needed in todays global digital economy. Without this trust the growth and success that the world’s economy has seen is not possible. An example the articles gives is the relationship between China and the United States. China claimed to be a victim of US cyber espionage of the Edward Snowden leaks while, “In 2014 the United States has filed an indictment charging five Chinese military officials for cyber espionage directed at American corporations.” Issues like this will continue to arise and won’t be dealt with efficiently with the current legislation, most of which is domestic. Having the two countries with the largest global economies in a perpetual state of cyber war will only ever hurt the world’s economy. The articles solution to this problem is to increase cooperation among governments, a concept that is will most likely remain a theory due to how cybercrime remains extremely disputed topic around the globe. But if governments were able to agree on international legislation and uphold trust in the online economy, it could be very profitable for everyone.
    The two main concepts that I took away from this media was using trust and education to combat cyber crime. A lot of the trust will come from states figuring out that they need to stop looking at their short-term interests and instead, corporate with other countries to create international cyber legislation. The education part will come naturally as people continue to become more familiar with technology but it could be accelerated by states making an effort to teach their citizens about cyber security. At the moment, changes to cyber policies are slow but hopefully a concerted push will be made to accelerate global efforts to address cyber crime.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Mike i like your observation and isolating some take away facts you can elaborate on idea of education, even which this course is a result and also trust building to combat cyber crime

        Mike Gellman said:
        April 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm

        Before watching the TED talk video I would never have realized how easy it is for hackers to get so much information from such small amounts of data. The most interesting and slightly disturbing example Lyne showed was that when we take a picture from our smartphones it imbeds the GPS coordinates of our location in the pictures. Like Lyne said we wouldn’t give our home address out on the internet yet many people unknowingly give out their coordinates. Most people conscious about not posting things online that could effect them negatively, like embarrassing pictures, but they don’t know much more than that. Hopefully we will an increase in awareness about protecting oneself online, possibly through classes in schools or increased media attention.
        As I said before, the idea of combatting cyber crime through trust and international corporation is very theoretical in nature. However, there have been some efforts on the international level to combat cyber crime. The Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber Crime has put together some procedures addressing cyber crime with their main objective being, “To pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, in particular by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international cooperation.” This is very nice concept but the problem with this legislation is that it’s very broad, making it hard to prosecuted the cyber criminals who break them. This is especially true when crossing international lines because some states, like China, are not part of these agreements and thus do not adhere to them. Another reason that international legislation is altogether unrealistic is because major countries are constantly engaging in economic cyber espionage. This behavior is often done in a short-sighted attempt to bolster a countries own economy and degrades trust between states. If big players in the world’s economy continue to operate like this, there will never be enough trust trust between them to forge strong international laws against cybercrime.

        cyberoutpost responded:
        April 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm

        Good point about great power rivalry on cyberspace and its long term implications leading to a zero sum game!

      Cam Hickey said:
      April 12, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Hey Mike great analysis here, i wanted to say i liked your ideas of how education and awareness can be great tools to combat cyber crime. Honestly i agreed with Misha Genny’s ideas about the topic and how we should be creating classes in schools to teach the next generation of how important cyber security is. I never realized that one of the best ways to fight cyber crime is just being aware of it and knowing how not to click on a certain link. Anyways i wanted to get your ideas or thoughts on the best ways of action to fight against cyber crime. Education in schools, or having governments pass legislation to punish hackers and broaden their jurisdiction in the matter?

        Mike Gellman said:
        April 12, 2015 at 11:39 pm

        The thing about education and legislation is that they are somewhat intertwined when it comes to either being effective. Both Misha Genny and Haroom Meer mention their hesitance when it comes to strong regulations on the internet and I agree with their concerns. Over regulation can take away the freedom that makes the internet great. Genny argues that we should start teaching kids about cyber security as early as grade school in order to protect themselves against cyber crime. In order to avoid over regulation on the internet people are going to have to take personal responsibility to protect themselves.

    Andrew Wanamaker said:
    April 12, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Cyber crime costs are clearly a growing concern domestically and internationally as they continue to rise. It has become an even bigger problem for countries like the United States and China which were referenced at losing approximately .6 of there economies. When companies lose their intellectual property they are unable to fully regain their invested value which in return can hinder a company’s targeted goal. I found a little excerpt off of the Washington Post that stated countries can tolerate cybercrime losses as long as they stay less than 2 percent of their national economy. There is three ways to essentially break up Cyber Crime when you look at it through a macro economic lens and the cost effect analysis it has on global economies. The most damaging part is intellectual property theft, followed by financial crime which is credit card fraud, and finally confidential business information. This shows hot potentially hazardous cyber crimes can be if they attack you and exploit your company and or personal assets. Since there is a direct cost associate with cyber crime there is also an indirect cost associated with reigning losses. According to Ellen Nakishma who is a national reporter for the Washington Post stated that Mcaffe issued a global economic loss of 1 trillion which was cited by the White House.

    States are currently choosing to advance their economic interests through cybercrime and espionage which can potentially erode the the trust in the digital economy. The short term interests are prioritized over long term stability policies and have deemed global cybercrime as the “modern economic plague” according to Aaron Shull. What we are currently missing is a coordinated international response that matches the gravity of the circumstance and is probably unlikely to happen in the near future. In my next post I will further discuss the challenges that make cyber crime a legal and political issue.

      Rob said:
      April 12, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Andrew, nice economic analysis here. Cyber crime is something that I personally never worry about but it clearly happens on a large scale. I never worry about getting attacked but the threat is there. Credit card fraud happens all the time and is usually caught but if something more hazardous was to happen to an individual then cyber crime becomes much more serious. I think its crazy to think that someone can attack another country via cyber platforms. The US spends billions of dollars trying to protect themselves from getting attacked but hackers still seem to find a way in. The economics behind cyber crime are really interesting, nice work.

      Alita said:
      April 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Andrew- I thought your incite about what is currently missing pertaining to solving the problems of international cyber crime were very interesting. You stated that what we are currently missing is a coordinated international response that matches the gravity of the circumstance before us. However, all over the world different places are at different staged with obtaining and utilizing the Internet. This makes creating a international response to cyber crime nearly impossible because it is not yet a problem for everyone internationally.

        Kyle Swartz said:
        April 12, 2015 at 5:16 pm

        Alita- I agree with your point about places around the world being at different stages, what is shocking though is that these cyber criminals have the ability to operate from pretty much anywhere around the globe regardless of how advanced technology is in their location. I recently watched a short video on Youtube that mentioned a hacker by the name of Vladimir Levin, a Russian hacker who in 1994 managed to steal $10.4 million dollars from Citibank using nothing more than a laptop and a dial-up internet connection. These cyber criminals are extremely resourceful and are capable of terrible things regardless of the technology they have available to them. Here is the link to the video:

        cyberoutpost responded:
        April 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm

        I think partly the problem here is the discussion we had initially in the class on ‘Internet Governance’ as there is global dissent on how we should go ahead.

    Rob said:
    April 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I found the videos very interesting, especially the Ted Talk. James Lyne used real world examples to show how dangerous and smart the cyber crime community is. The people committing the crimes aren’t even in jail and thats crazy! Pretty scary stuff. What I found concerning is that despite having so much technology access today almost everyone has no idea how the technology really works under the surface. People, including myself, are just accepting the technology and not thinking twice about how it works or what information about ones self becomes available. I need to work on being more careful and doing more research to protect myself from cyber crime.
    It makes sense that countries are now using cyber crime to advance their economic markets and protect themselves. The US attacks on China became available after the Snowden documents came out and Chia wasn’t pleased. The US was committing a cyber crime against another country to try to figure out what they were doing and what their true interests were. This greatly affects politics and international relations. It has reached the point, or will soon, where countries need to talk to one another and international laws should be made to protect everyone. The best way to go about this would to just have an open conversation about cyber crime and teach people about how harmful this crime could be. Once people know how dangerous cyber crime is people will start to care. Something really bad might have to happen via cyber crime to really open peoples eyes but lets hope it doesn’t get to that point.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 12, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Rob, the point about ‘open conversation on cyber crime’ that is a very interesting observation you could actually develop it and bring out its main benefits

      reed mcleod said:
      April 12, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Although these open conversations will be necessary in order to develop global cyber security, I do see a handful of problems that may arise from these negotiations. As shown in the TedTalk, there is money to be made in taking advantage of the cyber security. If a particular country’s economy has a stake in the hacker business, they may be reluctant to agree on terms that attempt to eliminate this “Dark Market”. Also, as with the many negotiations, countries often have to surrender some of their freedoms to comply with the overarching guidelines. This may also disrupt the negotiation process.

        Zoë Kagan said:
        April 12, 2015 at 10:00 pm

        Reed, I agree with you that one of the reasons that internet entities are so vulnerable to acts of cyber crime is because of the lack of knowledge. This susceptibility is also controlled because open conversations about cyber interactions are not yet wide-spread enough, at least in this country. In my experience, schools are one means of letting large groups of people have meaningful experiences with the web but it is not yet enough for people to have real insight on what is fathomable beyond our collective conscience. This is where the “dark market” aspect that you have brought up comes into play. What is vulnerable to certain entities, governments, is a means to be taken advantage of by those who have more resources in the internet, such as hackers who can have more access and control.

      Ryan Hackett said:
      April 12, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      Rob really liked your point about how unprepared we are in terms of protection against these internet attacks. I for one, could definitely improve the way I protect myself against internet hackers. From the videos I watched, I realized that there is probably a lot of information that is accessible just because I wasn’t aware. For example, in the TED talk video, the guy explained that when you take a picture your geographic location is accessible. I did not know that kind of data was attainable to the outside world. Pretty scary stuff to think about, but there are ways in which to protect against these hacks, in which I should probably start doing.

    Joe said:
    April 12, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    After watching the videos on cyber crime, and reading the article “global cyber crime” it is clear that many people have the wrong interpretation of crime. Cyber crime allows criminals to threaten our well being without the need for “muscle”. It is extremely upsetting to hear that people are unaware of just how dangerous cyber criminals are. The ted talk showed us that cyber criminals operate in an extremely organized manner, having the capability to take a victoms money by installing a simple virus. If i wanted to hack someone in our class, I could get in touch with a cyber criminal, and he could offer me IT support as I attempt to hack another person. The speaker in the ted talk focused on the large theme of convenience vs security. The internet provides alot of great services to its users, including social media sights, and gps tools. However, internet users also provide alot of information to the internet, and if they do not take the basic steps to keep themselves safe, they can be exploited. While watching the videos I could not help but to think how exposed I just may be. It made me want to get online and update all of my passwords to keep myself aware of the threat.
    As a developed country, we are more at risk of cyber crime. It will be hard to install international cyber security when some countries are still new to the internet. I believe developed countries become targets, because we provide more information to our internet sources.

      Andrew Wanamaker said:
      April 12, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Joe I agree with you about the dangers of viruses. What I found to be quite amusing from the Ted Talk was that James Lyne mentioned how we know have to pay for trojans. This actually comes into play to a personal experience where my mom’s computer software back in 2004 was expired and a hacker infiltrated her computer and she bought into the hackers motive. I cannot recall the name of the Trojan but it was a very good replica of an anti virus software. I was rattled when she submitted her credit card information because I knew right away after she told me it was a “scam.” What blew my mind away was the she called the number and the Cyber criminal answered the phone and cancelled the transaction. Although this was over ten years ago it shows how right when the internet came out there were scam artists ready to capitalize. I really wonder if the majority of our population cogntively put convince over thought and consequences. It seems that there will always be an uninformed network of people that will buy in and feed feed that appetites of those willing to exploit the innocent.

    Andrew Wanamaker said:
    April 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I agree rob we are going to have to see the “ugliest of the ugliest” regarding Cyber Crime attacks before something significant will happen to change the dynamics to cyber crime if we are even capable of achieving that. Although we have the Computer Fraud and Abuse act it so difficult to track down witnesses, secure evidence and marshal a case. Currently the offensive strategy of cyber attacks are much stronger than the defensive stance on preventing cyber attacks.

    60 minutes is focusing in on sony’s cyber attack tonight which corresponds to our class discussion. They have drawn in on some of the effects. Essentially after “Who is this” hacked Sony’s servers there were endless repercussions. Sony had to take themselves off the grid pretty much removing them from the world as an international corporation and resorting to pen and paper and landlines. The offensive weapons that the criminal cyber criminals have across the world are so sophisticated that they have an advantage.

    Cyclance is a sophisticated software company that is currently being used by many fortune 500 companies. However it does not take that many cyber attacks like in 2012; Saudia Arabias Iran Co. which was hacked and their computers were infiltrated. Going back to the Internet Governance article we have seen a trend to target many of the energy source sectors and what really puts this into perspective is Alcoa was hacked which resides right here in Massena NY.

    What I can conclude out of the early stages of Cyber Crime is that Chinese are stealing technology and the Russians are stealing intelligence. What was very interesting and I am wondering what some of your guys thoughts are, is why did Sony decline an interview after the attack? When we analyze a Cyber Crime and the repercussions I think that many of the companies do not realize how much we rely on technology and the internet. Beyond financial losses and credit information, the system slows down enormously as peoples pay rolls are unable to be processed and company trades/secretes are now open and available to be stolen.

    No one understands the true vulnerability that cyber crime creates as it is truly global and touches governments, companies, and individuals all around the world. We are entering a period of time that no matter what policies or laws are enacted, we do not have the proper funding and militia to ever fully enforce and stop Cyber Crime, it is way too powerful.

    Zayn Thompson said:
    April 12, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    South to North: The dark world of cybercrime brings up a lot of good points about this new, upcoming threat. While cyber criminals are not your everyday criminals such as bank robbers, they can still do just as much damage, if not more. Instead of being up close and personal, these new breed of criminals can attack from afar, and don’t need to deploy the usual violence that the average criminal would use. For me, the most striking point they brought up was the fact that there are no geographical (distance) barriers in cybercrime, making it so that someone in say the United Arab Emirates could steal from someone in the United States the same as if they were right next to them. Re-visiting an earlier class theme, the fact that hackers and cyber criminals can attack from across the globe gives them an advantage, especially if they can’t be located. We had talked about the next war possibly being fought online, and training cyber troops as a response. It makes sense, as you can deal just as much damage from you own country.
    One quote was “why attack the United States when you could attack South Africa.” Hackers can get to just about anywhere on the globe, so specifically targeting weaker technological countries gives them a sizable advantage.

      reed mcleod said:
      April 12, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Zayn, you brought up a good point regarding why hackers would choose countries with weaker security measures such as South Africa. This reminds me of an article that I read regarding to Iran’s internet security. Iran still relies on the foreign market for softwares that protect their cyber security network. As shown in this example, under developed countries to not have the resources to protect their internet domestically. This may raise the question whether these outside contractors have a countries security as a top priority. To what extent can the foreign market be trusted?

    Cam Hickey said:
    April 12, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Our world has become more interconnected than ever before, and whether that is through globalization or the increased use of the Internet we must always realize that someone out there will manipulate the system to take advantage of others. The videos and write up showed us how in today’s world a new kind of criminal has emerged that work without the use of violence or confrontation. These hackers have been able to act and effected different parts of the globe without ever having to leave their homes. Doing so has taken the need for the old ways of organized crime out of the equation, which implements violence as a way of intimidation, but now uses our own data as a weapon against us. It’s quite terrifying to know that someone can access your bankcards, social security number, and other personal assets without every having to gain entry to your home or business. Like Misha Glenny pointed out, this makes people feel violated and helpless in a world where a new type of criminal can do more damage than ever before. I think one of the biggest problems that have emerged is the fact that companies and small businesses can now use hackers as a tool to hurt fellow competitors. The idea of corporate espionage seems like something we would see in a Bond film, but is actually a serious reality facing many companies. It now has almost broadened the scope of organized crime and the mafia to new levels. When multi-billion dollar corporations are hiring hackers to infiltrate others, the idea of the “mafia” becomes amplified to new levels, when the economy, international relations, and domestic policy all become a key part of the result. While saying this though, it seems like many Governments have almost no ability to persecute or investigate these actions due to jurisdiction or legislation that has not been passed. From the video it seems like the United States has taken some big steps to combat this rise in cyber crime through the passing of legislation but many countries are still behind. Misha Genny pointed out that China and Russia have laws in place, but as long as the hackers are not attacking domestic businesses the government will do little to punish them. In the end though companies and individuals need to do more to protect them selves and their information. Implementing stricter security measures and understanding how these hackers can take advantage of you makes you a harder target. As for legislation, in the future I do believe we will see more policies passed to combat cyber crime as it continues to become a serious issue here and abroad.

      Michael Edson said:
      April 12, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Cam I like how you say that cyber crime is similar to organized crime and the mafia. That this form of crime brings these groups to a new type of level. At a government level how could we stop these online organization to make sure that they are controlled? Do you think we need to establish more hackers in the government to catch these hackers?

        Cam Hickey said:
        April 12, 2015 at 9:28 pm

        I mean we already have a lot hackers working for the government in the intelligence agencies and FBI, but that being said i feel like the two do not match up one bit. Honestly though i think that the best way to combat cyber crime is through education and private security. The TED talk said that 95% of hacks would not have happened if the average citizen being hacked had some idea of their own security online. Cyber security should be something that is taught in schools or through other programs that will inform the basic citizen on ways not to be hacked, and that would probably be through government programs.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 12, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      I like your point about how governments are left totally incapable to handle and i am wondering if it is the incapability to laws not standing the test of unprecedented rate of change of tech which Kyle was pointing out in his observations

        Cam Hickey said:
        April 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm

        Absolutely, how are governments expected to keep up with the advancement of technology, when corporation can not even do so. The fact that governments including the US should be passing policies every two years to keep up with the rate of change in tech is unimaginable, especially in the bureaucratic mess which is our United States Government. Honestly very little of me believes that legislation will be able to keep up with technology, and that is why education and private security should be our answers to combat cyber crime. You would think that cyber security of our citizens and the private sector would be issues that both parties could agree with, but then again there are plenty of issues that should have bipartisan support but don’t.

      Mike Gellman said:
      April 12, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      Cam I like you insights on the lack of jurisdiction and power that many anti-cybercrime laws unfortunately have. I am interest to hear your thoughts on how we could strengthen these laws. Do you think the UN should step in and implement legislation? Also how realistic do you think international legislation is today?

        Cam Hickey said:
        April 12, 2015 at 11:53 pm

        It would be awesome to see some international cooperation in regards to international legislation, but i do not see this happening any time in the near future. I do agree that the UN could have jurisdiction over this matter, but this would take cooperation from the United States and if we can not fix these problems domestically how can we fix them internationally. The same problem arises with Russia and China, there’s almost too many moving parts, and our first move should be fixing the problems domestically before anything else.

    reed mcleod said:
    April 12, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    With the amount of data the human population has invested onto the internet, it does not come as a surprise that numerous individuals are attempting to take advantage of the system. These criminals range from government officials to regular individuals that have a sound internet connection. The main concern that comes with the expansion of the internet revolves around security. Compared to crimes of the past, a police force is fairly useless when dealing with these cyber attacks. This is where the debate starts; Who should be the internets police force?
    As shown in US/China cyber negotiations, the two countries have little agreement on how/who should protect innocent internet users from hackers and virus programers. Both countries have become victims of this new wave of espionage. A main issues that is faced when dealing with cyber security is how to actual implement a punishment for individuals who are guilty of the crime. This can be seen in the US’s accusations of 5 Chinese government who used the internet to spy on US data. Despite the collection of evidence that proves them guilty, the US most likely will not be able to charge these individuals for criminal activity because American jurisdiction does not reach within Chinese borders.
    After watching the TedTalk video I couldn’t help but feel a little paranoid when it comes to my computers security. I tend to believe that I am a fairly educated internet user that will not fall for hacker traps that would put my cyber information at risk. After watching the video I am now aware that these hacks are much more advanced than previously perceived. These attacks will only become for intricate and effective at victimizing internet users. I believe their has to be a greater awareness campaign in order to educate internet users on how to keep their data secure.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 12, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      I like the point about challenges in framing cyber crime legislation which is a good point you can elaborate further

      Max Johnson said:
      April 12, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      Reed, I think you make a good point about the problems surrounding punishing cybercriminals and I agree that people need to become more aware of cybersecurity and the damages that can be inflicted by cybercrime. An awareness campaign would help reduce the vulnerability of the common user but I don’t think it would help eradicate cybercrime or even limit the proliferation of cybercriminals. I think there needs to be a political shift in how politicians view cybercrime on both a national and international level. Globally, countries need to a take a tougher stance on cybercrime because without a firm legal basis against cybercrime, there will be little reason for cybercriminals to stop attacking users for economic gain. However, getting the world’s leaders to agree on an overarching legal framework for cybercrime is a lot to ask for and given the current landscape of global politics it doesn’t seem like it will happen any time soon. As long as there is no strong legal standing for cybercrime and the internet continues its path in connecting more and more people from all the regions of the world, cyber crime looks like it is here to stay and continue to flourish as a real national and international threat to governments and regular people.

    Nick Moffitt said:
    April 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    After watching the TED talk a few points the presenter made really struck me. How much influence cyber criminals have on affecting the everyday life of average citizens is insane. Some of the numbers the presenter used throughout his PowerPoint I feel like not many people realize. There are 250,000 new viruses being created per day, over 30,000 websites being attacked per day, with approximately 80% of these infected websites being small businesses, rather than porn sites (which everyone assumed was the attacker).
    The other point of concern I received from the Ted Talk was the fact that these viruses can be easily bought by the average consumer and downloaded online from providers. These viruses are known as ‘‘crime packs’’ or ‘‘black whole-exploit packs’’. The most astonishing idea surrounding these packs is that they come with customer service options where you can speak to an online cyber hacker. The fact that we as average citizens do not understand the majority of what happens in malware attacks and viruses is shocking.

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B1UZkRwRnS_BfmlIbUcxSnRld2piREdyZDE4YTdKYjNMWTNURFBkMnBYb2NHSUlGbkRZU00&usp=sharing

    The interview with Misha I felt was very useful because it took a different approach than the TED talk. When Misha spoke of not over regulating and restricting personal freedoms I was very intrigued. I totally agree with Misha here because I feel like it is becoming a larger scale threat which will draw more of a response in terms of the individual becoming more aware and taking strides to protect their own security rather than putting it in a second parties hands.

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B1UZkRwRnS_BfmlIbUcxSnRld2piREdyZDE4YTdKYjNMWTNURFBkMnBYb2NHSUlGbkRZU00&usp=sharing

      cyberoutpost responded:
      April 12, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      you can elaborate on the point about vulnerability of the common citizen and politically how that challenges public policy

      Michael Edson said:
      April 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      Nick- I like your observations about the TED talk and the interesting statistics that Lynn talked about. We know that these viruses are hurting citizens computers, and private information. It sucks getting a virus because it ruins your computer and information is being stolen. Shouldn’t governments be allowed to have access to our computers to stop these hackers? If 80% of the small businesses websites are being hacked doesn’t that mean that our economy is also hurting as well? When it comes to a government view about keeping the public safe, governments should be allowed to help secure the internet and be the big man in the situation. Would you agree or no?

        Zoë Kagan said:
        April 12, 2015 at 11:06 pm

        It is difficult for governments to make the trade off between allowing freedoms through the internet and controlling the internet. Perhaps if we stopped likening the government to hackers when discussing personal security issues that certain governments have access to, we would have a different view on it. Of course, this might also include a different perspective on the internet as a whole as a tool. It is also a difficult decision as to who gets to be in charge, and I don’t think that we as citizens have a real choice. It will be up to governments which have the most resources.

      Ryan Hackett said:
      April 12, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Nick, really interesting perspectives on the TED talk. I agree with the point you made in regards to the crime pack. It is amazing to see how complex the hackers are willing to get. They are essentially tricking us and making a fool out of the average citizen. It’s crazy too because this is not an uncommon thing to happen in our society. It seems logical to buy some sort of internet protection package, but in actuality we’re just funding these hackers. The sophistication of hacking has increased over the years, and this is just one of the practices that shows how unprepared the average citizen is when it comes to protection against hacking.

    Nick Moffitt said:
    April 12, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Mike-I totally agree with the points you are making here. First off, the point about governments having the ability to access our computers is an intriguing one to say the least. As you and I both know governments are accessing what we do on the web on a daily basis, but where there can be controversy is regarding a citizens basic rights. We as a country pride ourselves on the constitution and the rules our founding fathers established, so I feel it is up to the citizen to decide whether or not the government accesses their privacy. In terms of an economic standpoint I am 100% with you, it does for sure hurt the economy and the government should jump in, but once again at the discretion of the people running it.

    Grace said:
    April 12, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    These videos are very interesting to me but also are very terrifying. I realized now that cyber crime is so simple for people to commit while those people having the crimes committed against them are completely unaware. I recently just got a chip in my credit card and I was very confused why this was happening but now it makes sense. Its however kind of upsetting to learn about this chip and not even realized the purpose and the reason, I wish i knew about this all along. Its also interesting that this chip idea has been around for so long but the banks felt like they could get away with not having them for so long because they did not want to pay the extra expense. However our danger was at a greater cost because of this. So it is fascinating to me that the banks felt like they could play such a heavy gamble with our money and collect insurance all while we are footing the bills.

    One of the other videos that really caught my attention was the talk about security for people who have to deal with cyber security. The quote “those who would trade a little bit of his essential liberty for temporally secuirty deserve neither liberty or security” struck out to me because it is true. We cannot give up the internet for the sake of this cyber war but where does it leave the people of the world who are in threat of everyday cyber crimes. Even the experts do not have a full answer and as a result we are stuck in a place of uncertainty.

    Ibrahim Khan said:
    April 12, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    The TED talk gives us insights on how cyber criminals can take advantage of us not doing the basics to protect computers. Lynn presented shocking figures about the world of cyber crime. On a daily basis there 250,000 new viruses in cyber crime, 30,000 new websites getting infected by these viruses every day. Interesting most of them are small business websites, which raises many eyebrows, but that’s the fact. The presentation then explains how organized cyber crime has become i.e. while there may be young teenagers involved in cyber crime activities, it also has a vast number of organized and professional skilled hackers. Lynn showed a video which showed that you can hire a skilled hacker to bring down any company website that you want to target. Cyber crime becoming a commodity is a dangerous threat. They charge a fee to offer their poisonous services.

    These hackers use several ways to infect computers. They could send email to millions of people that persuades people to click on a single link that could infect their computer in seconds. They can then control the computer and blackmail the owner of the computer. Hackers can even operate our webcam without us even noticing. Alita gave an incredible example of the webcam hack. A girl was being watching by a 31 year old guy and she had no idea about it. This is very dangerous for every computer owner.
    In the other videos Misha explains in detail what cyber crime means and its activities. He says commonly cyber crime involves credit card frauds through several different ways, one of them is done through skimming machines. Misha explains that cyber crime does not involve bullets, guns, or violence like normal every day crime which we all are exposed to. A cyber criminal can infect the computer and make it unable for the owner of the computer to get access to all the data. Then this data can be kidnapped and be retrieved only if the hacker is given millions of dollars. Another point that Misha brought up was about the smartphones. He, including the law enforcement agencies feel that there will increasing amounts of attacks on smartphones that we carry everywhere where ever we go.

      Zayn Thompson said:
      April 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Ibrahim, I think you bring up a good point that the cyber criminals can and are taking advantage of us because of us not taking the proper cautions, and not knowing about it very much. It is astounding the amount of new viruses that appear daily, as there seems to be no way to prevent them for spreading. Because of a lack of security due to budget restraints, small businesses are a prime target for these hackers because they are exposed. Like you said, this becoming a commodity is a very dangerous thing, as hackers can take down whole websites, seriously crippling businesses for short terms. I think it is the people selling their services who need to be stopped by the government as well.

        Ibrahim Khan said:
        April 13, 2015 at 12:46 am

        I agree with you Zayn. The people selling these services must be stopped as soon as possible because they may not be that difficult to track down if i’m not wrong. Lynn is in his video told that he hired one of these services to target his own website, so if he can get access to these people, I do not t think it should much of a problem for the government to get hold of these people.

    Ibrahim Khan said:
    April 12, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    The fact that internet empowers us to express and act without exposing who we are leads to such activities like cyber crimes. It gives an incentive to an evil mind to get things done easily with less possibility of getting caught. As the videos share with us that taking rash decision is not what is needed to be done here as it would take away all the liberty we have while using the internet. And the small amount of wrongdoers must not be the reason to have strict checks on every single internet user because that has its own problems. A balanced approach is required, while with every intention of catching the cyber culprits. I think the best way to discourage these people from being evil is to attract them and offer jobs where they can use their skills in order to track down other hackers who are causing trouble to normal citizens and states like the ex hacker from South Africa in the video who now works for the government.

      Cam Hickey said:
      April 12, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      Ibrahim i liked your post about the possible solution to discourage people from committing cyber crime by offering them attractive jobs where they can use their skills in more positive and legal way. A problem that i can see arising from this though is how many hackers may find that the only way to get these jobs or gain attraction is to commit crimes and hack into private computers. I don’t see why rewarding criminals is a viable solution to combating hackers and cyber crime. I understand that we should employ these individuals because of their skill sets, but after they apply to get the job not by breaking the law to do so.

        Ibrahim Khan said:
        April 13, 2015 at 12:33 am

        That’s a great point you brought up Cam. The possible solution I mentioned has the potential to lead these people to involve in such activities as you mentioned above, once that becomes a norm then it must be tackled with other strategies rather than entertaining them with jobs. But for the already existing criminals, who have a strong set up, i think offering them an incentive for not causing trouble is not that bad of an option. This way we will gain two things, the criminals will themselves surrender and crime will decline, two, these same hackers can be used to counter other hackers who are not giving into the incentive as they might have other motives. And for the new people who might adopt the criminal path for getting jobs, they must be dealt accordingly, though it may be difficult in distinguishing how long they have been involved in these activities. Indeed, one must not reward criminals with jobs for breaking the law, but at times when doing so decreases the overall cost for the society and the country, it could be considered as an option, even if its not the best.
        An example could be how the police uses criminals as their under cover agents in order to get more information to track down other serious criminals. They agree to cut down imprisonment years for the under cover agent if they agree to cooperate with the police. Such can be done with cyber crime.

    Max Johnson said:
    April 12, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    The TED talk presented some interesting points about cybercrime and its presence on the internet. I was pretty shocked to hear just how vulnerable the average internet user is to cybercrime attacks. It was also interesting to see how cybercriminals actually hack into other people’s computers but I thought the most compelling point the speaker made was about the debate surrounding how to legally punish cybercrime offenders on the international level. What makes cybercrime so effective is that anyone from anywhere in the world that has internet access can commit an act of crime due to the ubiquitous power of the internet. This dynamic sparks the question of how can a country like the United States take action against a cybercriminal in another country that doesn’t have great relations with the United States and completely different laws about cybersecurity? Without causing foreign policy problem, the United States essentially can’t take effective legal action, putting them into a precarious bind. This problem is not only contained to the international politics but also stretches to the individual level. How can a small business owner take legal action against a hacker who stole thousands of dollars or harassed their business that lives in another country? Without an overarching legal platform for cybercrime countries and individuals are forced to cope with the damages of cybercrime. It will be interesting to see if political leaders will address this issue in the future but it might prove to be too controversial because of the nature of each country’s unique legal system.

      Ryan Hackett said:
      April 12, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      Max i really liked your point about cyber crime on a global level. It is so difficult to govern because the internet is essentially a global property that has no boundaries. It is almost impossible to seek some level of internet unification amongst all countries, because everyone has different policies regarding the topic. For example, how can we penalize a country for espionage, when we’re doing the exact same thing. They’re so many different angles towards this topic that it becomes much more than a technological dispute, but a global political issue that has become very serious.

    Ryan Hackett said:
    April 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Cyber crime has been a topic of discussion that has gained some heat within the past few years. With the ongoing advancements in internet and technology, comes a whole new series of threats, in which hackers pose a significant threat. From average citizens to large corporations, everyone is at serious risk from hackers all around the world. I took a lot a way from the videos and article that we read, one point being about how specific these hackers really are. No more is it just some guy in a basement trying to make a quick buck, but rather sophisticated hackers operating at efficient levels. Example of this are shown in the TED talk video, as the gentleman states that they’re 250,000 new computer viruses everyday and 30,000 new internet sites are hacked a day. The techniques that are used are almost comical because they are seamlessly tricking your average citizen. By implementing anti virus protection ads, but in reality just making those masked sites real viruses in which people actually pay for. This is why it is essential for countries to come together and incorporate some internet laws to abide by. This task is obviously a tough site to see in our near future, but the security threats are at an all time high. The numbers are alarming and the internet poses a huge threat to citizens of all countries. In today’s world it is easier than ever for hackers to steal information. It occurs when we don’t even realize. For example, taking a picture on your cellular device can show your location for pretty much anyone to see. Things like that make information accessible for hackers to use as a gateway for a plethora of data. Cyber warfare is indeed a societal issue for us, but also an economic one. In the article, the author illustrates the annual economic impact, which costs America a staggering $400 billion dollars. Recently, just the Sony hack reportedly cost Sony north of $150 million. Funding for cyber warfare will only increase, as hacking practices become more complex and harder to detect.

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