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CyTRAP Labs global security forecast 2008 – biggest obstacles against a safer Internet are …

December 27th, 2007 · 5 Comments ·

protection of teens is a parental issue while protecting your home computer is your responsibility
But the education of teens, their parents and home users to the growing information security AND privacy problem will require an educational effort that involves schools, social networking organizations, and government agencies.
On top, regulation with teeth is required

The above shows – much to be done during 2008 – let us start by outlining what we should begin with before 2008 is here!

REGULATION has to enable regulators to go where the cash is – survey says

2007-12-17 – OPTA imposed the largest penalty ever issued in Europe for illegal adware and spyware operations. The good thing is that OPTA took the regulation it had available and pursued the criminals. The bad thing are, however:

1) Russian bot herders got away.

As long as the bot herders and denial of service attack originators are not facing the wrath of the law, Rusia will continue to be the origin of much criminal activity (ecrime is dropping in Russia).

2) Regulation must be changed to allow that neither intermediaries (some of the largest advertising agencies according to OPTA) nor HP (one of the advertiser paying Dollar Revenue to place adware) can claim innocence when authorities reveal that they have been placing advertising with spammers and spyware criminals such as Dollar Revenue

Current laws neither allow OPTA to take the intermediaries – that is advertising agencies that placed ads with Dollar Revenue on behalf of the advertisers HP and Jamba – nor the advertisers itself can be taken to court.

Fact is that if advertisers and their agencies can be fined the money will dry up for companies such as Dollar Revenue, thereby making the Internet a safer place


Much more important forums than this one have stressed the importance of awareness raising. We have mentioned this issue over and over. However, children have been neglected as a group.

For anybody that needs convincing, just visit a local school and spend some time with children using computers in classrooms and/or for doing assignments. Any privacy advocate will be concerned what he or she will discover We have been talking about awareness raising but have now come to the conclusion that children suffer when information security education (ISE) is treated as an afterthought.

Currently, most curriculums do neither have the space nor time allotments that would allow a teacher to really make sure that pupils are fully aware and know how to protect themselves against predators on the Internet (e.g., Facebook and other social networks are calling)

Watching how children use social networks will convince you that efforts must be undertaken to raise their awareness about information security. Only thereafter can we get them to protect their rights and responsibilities much better than they will today and know how to tomorrow or during 2008.

School children have to become aware that anything posted online to their friends now, could very easily come back to haunt them in days, months, or even years to come.

Social networking tools, have almost become indispensable for teenagers and school pupils, who often think theirs lives are private as long as their parents are not reading their journals. This is a dangerous situation.

take time out, build a snowman

If you cannot view the above image – here it is – happy holidays means taking time out with your family – are you ?


In summary, we can list the above issues in the following points:

a) a legal regime requiring that defaults be provided at the most privacy-friendly setting,b) an automatic expiration of data when using social networks, AND

c) regulation that focuses on where the money comes from (advertiser) instead of just the violator (e.g., spyware distributor)

There is llittle point in worrying about ID cards, RFID tags and spyware when more and more people are throwing away their privacy anyway when using social networks. And the potential consequences are dire.

Stay tuned, more to come your way.



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