United Against Cybercrime!

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Since the Sony attacks Obama has been very outspoken in his efforts to beef up Cyber-security related legislation and laws. He has asked that private tech firms share more with the government.

Some big tech companies seem have made their opinion known via their absence: Senior Google, Yahoo and Facebook executives declined the invitation to Obama’s cybercrime summit.As reported by the BBC, Obama was quoted as saying “we have to work together like never before” in order to prevent further industry scale hacks, like the Sony Pictures incident.

I asked Mark James, ESET security specialist, a few question about the proposed united effort and the issue that hamper it.


Will a united front against cybercrime, industry and government, really help?


“Of course it will help, any collaboration to help fight cybercrime will be a step in the right direction. The problem is the trust factor involved, after all the problems with surveillance practices used by the NSA I would imagine it’s beyond repair or very close to it.”

It seems as if the trust factor will be the great divider and is most likely the reason that some tech higher-ups didn’t show up.


Is trust too badly damaged post Snowden?


“Yes, It’s very hard to get that trust back; it’s no different than any other relationship. Yes on the surface it may look like you trust each other but deep down that question will always be in the back of your mind: in this case, what really is your agenda?

With that thought souring any potential negotiation, and bearing in mind that companies like Google and Facebook have to keep consumers happy, is a united front even possible?


Is a united front possible?


It’s possible but not probable. Every time the industry thinks it getting closer to dealing with cybercrime then the bad guys come up with another way to beat the system. It started with gunpowder on the battle field and it will continue with software in the digital age.”


What does the end user stand to gain/lose?


“In theory with a much better transfer and understanding of information the end user should be better protected. If the industry was kept up to date on the latest attack vectors and fully aware of the trends in place real time then it’s possible they could counter any attacks from a much better stand point.”

If this proposal is to succeed then clear lines to be drawn, it seems to me that “trust” is just a step too far at the moment but pre-defined systems of communication could work.

As consumers and responsible members of society we have to remember that we vote for politicians and can vote with our wallets when it comes to the devices we buy: trust is also a major factor of that arrangement.

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Do you think a united front, industry and government, will happen? Will it work?