Friday, March 30, 2012

Infosec - Things That Make You Go Hmm....

Mikko Hypponen is an excellent speaker. His first video, about the three types of online attack, really provide very sobering commentary and thoughts about Internet crime and how serious (and lucrative) it can be. As our world becomes more and more digital, it really is bothersome to think that there are a few people or organizations out there with more skills than entire populations who rely on the technology these skilled individuals like to tamper with. Also, it seems to be quite the losing battle to fight, although a very necessary one.

With his second video, on fighting viruses and defending the net, we got to see how complex the issue of internet crime can be, and the type of thinking and resourcefulness it takes to fight it. As he spoke about a more concerted global effort to fight internet crime, Hypponen brought to mind my favorite book series as a teenager, Tom Clancy's Net Force. This group was an online government agency comprised mainly of hackers as well as military forces who worked together to fight online criminal organizations and individuals. There was even a TV movie made of the series, which was discontinued after about 8 - 10 books, which I still have. I wonder if the INTERPOL or other such organizations could draw from Tom Clancy's imagination to develop the type of force needed to fight internet crime?

As far as SOPA and PIPA are concerned, a lot of today's great techies (Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page) have reached rockstar status. These guys have the means to alter our lives, truly, if they want to, and a great many of them did just that in response to Congress's mulling over of those two bills. Because of their very widespread influence, I never did get too concerned that either of these would actually pass. That also brings a book to mind, though (although, one has to extrapolate greatly from the book to think of this). Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, was about censorship, but through the burning of books. Could censorship of the Internet provide the government with the same means of control of the masses and seriously decrease our quality of life, bringing about a dystopian society (perhaps I read too much)?