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Partnerships Against Cyber Crime

By Kevin Coleman — Defense Tech Cyberwarfare correspondent.

Cyber crime is now main stream and has been for several years. One report stated that the U.S. government expects to spend $13.3 billion by 2015 to defend against cyber crime. Everyone from individuals to international corporations like Sony, Citigroup and even Google have fallen victim to criminals operating in cyber space. Some believe cyber crime is not on the rise it just seems that way due to increased media attention; they are partially right. A Google search on cyber crime resulted in 10.4 million web results.  This off-the-cuff metric clearly shows the magnitude of this issue.

Some expert sources believe that organized crime is behind a significant portion of cyber crime, while others say the recent increase in cyber crime is driven more by the poor economy. Either way, cyber crime is now an underground economy that is estimated at $100 Billion (annually) worldwide.  Particularly troubling is that cyber crime funds terrorism. When al Qaeda’s Chief Cyber Terrorist was taken into custody in his London loft, investigators found he had the data for over 30,000 credit card accounts. Further investigation found that he was using the stolen card data to fund his operations.

The solution to address this problem is like the one needed in cyber warfare; a public-private partnership. Such partnerships may now be forming. Just last week, a group comprised of private sector and industry organizations, called the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA), announced its intention to work with governments to fight cyber crime. We can only hope this trend continues.

FACT: Brazil is said to be at the top of the victim list.  It is estimated that 83 percent of the Brazilian population have been a victim of an Internet crime.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

blight2 July 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

The private sector fills the gaps on the ground (Private Military Companies) and in cyberspace (ICSPA). I wonder how they will collaborate/compete with their "government" counterparts.


Anonymous July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Terrible article, for the following reasons:

1. "A Google search on cyber crime resulted in 10.4 million web results" as your primary, lazy man metric that the problem is substantial.

2. No actual comments about the ICSPA or any of its pros or cons.

3. What reports or experts are saying cost through 2015, speculation on causes, etc. Links? Or were you unable to find them among the 10.4 million google hits?

I don't mean to hate, but there is no substantive information here except the existence of the ICSPA, wrapped in the fluff of scaremongering.


blight July 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Bing calls it at 46 million hits.

I was hoping for more citations as well. Oh well.


Brian July 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Terrible comment, for the following reasons COWARD Anonymous use your real name.


blight July 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm

All our names are totally unidentifiable, which I think is the point. Even "Brian" makes you relatively anonymous. I imagine Byron Skinner, and perhaps a few others have names that correspond to real world entities, but most of our typical commenters are pretty anonymous.


blight July 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm

The powerpoint version:
Cyber crime is now main stream and has been for several years.
U.S. government expects to spend $13.3 billion by 2015 to defend against cyber crime.
corporations like Sony, Citigroup and even Google
Increased coverage: perception of increase?
Google cyber crime: 10.4m hits
Cyber crime origins: organized crime? Poor economy? Terrorism?
Terrorism? AQ terrorist found with 30k credit card nos
Used it to fund ops?
Soln: public/private partnership + govt? International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA)

Honestly, would prefer more links/sources.


Kevin July 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm

First of all it is a blog posting not an article so I keep it around 250-300 words. If you want some stats how about these I noted while writing this.

In Q1 of this year phishing attacks were up 12%

73% of Americans have experienced some type of cyber crime

78% of Americans do not believe cyber criminals will be caught

25% of cyber crimes go unsolved

In the UK last year cyber crime topped £21bn of costs to businesses, £2.2bn to government and £3.1bn to citizens.

Globally Intellectual property theft and espionage are the two top cyber crimes

Global cost of cyber crime is $1 trillion annually

Canada saw a saw a 319% increase in the number of servers hosting phishing sites in 2010.

About 90 percent of U.S. companies that responded to a Computer Security Institute survey said they had detected computer security breaches and 74 percent acknowledged financial losses as a result of the breaches of security. More than 270 U.S. organizations quantified their financial losses for a total of $265 million.

McAfee's Fourth Quarter 2010 Threats Report said mobile malware increased by 46 percent from 2009 to 2010.

Interpol: Cyber crime is the biggest criminal threat


blight July 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I don't think it's the word count. Even the next-gen abrams post doesn't hit a high word count. I think the problem may lie with the review-ish nature of your posts. You dedicated two paragraphs of summary to set up for one paragraph that segues into ICSPA. Many readers would probably be happier trading one of the paragraphs for another one about ICSPA, or I could be in the minority.


blight July 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Alternatively, the defense minded readers here don't have much to work with when it comes to cyber warfare contexts. A tiny post about a single contract about sabots might not provoke much of a discussion on a cyberwarfare oriented blog (and if anything, will draw massive amounts of derision); but here it triggers a gamut of responses, ranging from "waste of money" to stuff about canister rounds and flechettes.

Reporting news is challenging stuff if you want to report in a cutting edge fashion /and/ provoke interesting discussion (since many discussion subjects are often rehashing of old positions), and reporting on such a micro-focused topic might be what drove Schachtman to Danger Room and onto other things.

Reporting on the meat of ICSPA might provoke other lines of discussion beyond just reporting on its formation. It's got seven commercial members: Trend Micro and McAfee seem obvious, but why is Shop Direct on there? And Yodel? Law enforcement partners are Europol, and they have two business partners I've never even heard about.

And to fulfill the Youtube fetish that infects blogs these days; the obligatory video: https://www.youtube.com/user/ICSPAAdmin

With only 116 views, and put up 6 days ago. Very much under the radar.

What would be a funny gag would be to put together a list of all the "cyber" organizations that seem to be sprouting like weeds, and figure out which ones are totally redundant, or even at odds with each other.


Technolytics July 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I guess my point about ICSPA was missed. They are trying to bridge the gap between the public and private sector. Just as the same international partnership is necessary for cyber warfare. Will they succeed - to early to tell.


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