All-righty! Here we are with the latest news.
What we have been for ages talking about, explaining, and encouraging, at last is finally showing some signs of actually being put into practice.
A new body – the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) (news, site) – has been founded in London: an international non-commercial organization that brings together “governments, international business and law enforcement bodies, including Europol”. The aim of the new organization is simple: to tackle nationalistic narrow-mindedness, unite parochial strengths, and fight cyber-crime on a global level – together.
This is what we’ve been been advocating constantly for more than ten years. It’s impossible to tackle international criminals with traditional methods alone, when every country just thinks of itself, covers its own backside, and the rest of the world can go whistle.
Remember the film Bonnie and Clyde? (If not – I highly recommend refreshing your memories). Those who do will recall the fateful couple robbing the bank, getting found out, and getting chased in typically spectacular Hollywood fashion. On the state border, when they are just about to be caught, the police slam on the brakes and, as if content – relieved even – with doing all they possibly could and not being able to do more, shout: “That’s not our territory; the local police will have to take over now,” and the pair disappear into the vast steppe of… (don’t remember – I could do with a re-watch too).
Anyway (not to digress), how does the modern-day fight against cyber-crime differ from this cinematic classic? It hardly does at all: Cyber-reprobates in most cases are beyond the borders of the country of their victims. Of course, there are always exceptions. I’d even say that every time an international criminal group is caught – that is one of those exceptions, but still a good example of how things should be – with a uniting of forces.
Not long ago authorities from 12 countries shut down two criminal groups that made their living from peddling fake anti-virus software (more details in the June edition of Securelist). But how many are still out there? I’d say the great majority – that those we’ve exposed are just the tip of the iceberg. To bring the below-the-waterline mass to book is unthinkable without joint efforts on a global scale.
The ICSPA’s plans are hugely ambitious and its confidence is bursting at the seams. I do hope that things will get further than slogans and idealistic pronouncements, and that it does not turn into an exclusively British clique (the alliance is the brainchild of the British government, chaired by its former Home Secretary David Blunkett). But how tolerant will other countries be with the ICSPA, which each have their own ambitions, old scores to settle, and skeletons in the closet? Let’s wait and see…
And what about KL, then, in all this? Well, we’ve started the process of applying to join. Again, let’s see. Watch this space for the latest news…
Comment: A deliberately non-working idea – due to demands for access to foreign IT resources (article 32.b). I explained this to them many times; they still seem not to understand, or at least let on that they do.
Comment: A more effective idea, but, unfortunately, it’s only just getting up to speed. I hope the Brits get things up and running much sooner.
And finally: if the cyber-villains are going to be caught in their hundreds – it might be economically prudent to think about cyber-prisons (“IT-sharashka” – where skilled specialists are put to work productively while in prison, like in Solzhenitsyn‘s novel First Circle) :)