http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/20358.html Contributed by James Maguire osOpinion.com January 2, 2003 The solution to the ever-growing army of intruders is to beef up our cybercrime-fighting forces -- exponentially. The FBI created a new cybercrime unit in late 2001, but it doesn't appear to be enough. Things are looking good for Kevin Mitnick. In 2000, he completed a five-year prison term for computer crimes; this January, 39-year-old Mitnick will have his probation restrictions lifted. So Mitnick, probably the world's most notorious hacker , is on the verge of once again being free to use his computer. And that's just the start. He has a new book out, The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security. He has launched his own corporate security company, Defensive Thinking (he presumably knows more about this subject than most, but after so many years locked up, isn't he rusty?) He just got his ham radio license back, and he'll be making extra cash by auctioning off his PCs that were seized as evidence. He's also negotiating with Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey to co-produce computer security training films. In short, he looks like one happy (former) hacker. Kind of Cool, But... I have to admit that I enjoy seeing Mitnick do well. He has something of the folk hero about him, a lone PC virtuoso, nimbly cracking code to enter monolithic corporate networks. He's the Jesse James of the IT age. But something worries me about Mitnick's situation if I think about it for more than a few moments. His highly publicized case makes it look like hackers are getting caught. The specter of this hacking virtuoso sent off to the big house makes it seem as if there's an effective cybercrime-fighting force in the United States. Different Sophistication Levels As has been widely reported, computer crime is very much on the rise -- and law enforcement officials are no match for today's hackers. Kevin Mitnick, however reformed he may be, is not the only happy hacker running free. There are plenty of them. The elite hackers of 2003 are more cunning than ever before. And, based on the fact that plenty of high-profile cybercrimes have gone unsolved, they are apparently also more cunning than the good folks who are fighting them. Peruse the news and you'll find plenty of major cases that are unsolved. Malicious intrusions at Western Union, Playboy.com, Egghead and other sites demonstrate that the black hatters are staying several keystrokes ahead of their pursuers. Helping the Good Side The solution to the ever-growing army of intruders is to beef up our cybercrime-fighting forces -- exponentially. The FBI created a new cybercrime unit in late 2001, but it doesn't appear to be enough. Compared with the many headlines that announce new computer intrusions, notice how few headlines trumpet arrests. If we don't bulk up our anti-hacking forces, the fight against network intrusion will become that much more lopsided. In fact, it's not unlikely that network security will deteriorate until e-commerce and other Net-related activities are severely dampened by lack of user trust. And at that point, we'll need more than Kevin Mitnick's new book to help us. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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