With cybercrime now the second largest criminal activity in the world, measures such as the creation of an 'Internet Interpol' and better cooperation between international law enforcement agencies are needed if criminals are to be curtailed in the future, Kaspersky Labs founder and security expert, Eugene Kaspersky, has argued.
Speaking at AusCERT 2011, the Moscow-based Kaspersky said the last five years had proved to be the "Golden Age" of cyber crime with the criminal activity now ranked second only to drug trafficking as the most significant criminal activity.
“Cybercrime is integrated into the computer world," he said. "It’s like if you are in Australia, sharks are intergrated into the beautiful ocean."
Along with its growing size cybercrime was proving difficult to fight due to a combination of its secretive nature and underground forums along with a lack of cooperation between international anti-cybercriminal police forces.
“Some cybercriminals from non English-speaking countries don’t release malware in their own country because they don’t want police to connect them to it," Kaspersky said.
A solution to the problem might be that, in addition to having police agencies investigate cybercrime, an Internet Interpol (international police) could be established.
“We were talking about that 10 years ago and almost nothing has happened," he said. "Sooner or later we will have one. I am also talking about Internet passports and having an online ID. Some countries are introducing this idea, so maybe in 15 years we will all have it.”
The idea of a single secure cyberspace has been discussed in Europe. In February 2011, at a secret meeting of the Council of the European Union's Law Enforcement Work Party (LEWP), politicians discussed plans to create a "virtual Schengen border" (the Schengen area is the common passport area within the E.U.) with ISPs required to block "illicit content" from outside the area.
An online identification could also help stop criminals engaging in identity theft through searching online for scanned passport documents, Kaspersky said.
And while the outgoing Russian described himself as an “optimistic paranoid” when it came to online security, a number of Cloud securtiy offerings had managed to create inroads into tackling malware.
“The lifetime of new malware is very short because it is distributed but it is intercepted by Cloud security,” he said. “Unfortunately, they can’t stop it all but it is much more complicated to develop this type of [Cloud bypassing] malware.”
Kaspersky's comments about law enforcement and cybercrime echoed those of Queensland Police Service officer, Brian Hay, who also spoke at AusCERT.
Hay said cybercrime was the biggest challenge that the policing community was facing because of its position in relation to the sector.
Hamish Barwick travelled to AusCERT 2011 as a guest of AusCERT Got a security tip-off? Contact Hamish Barwick at hamish_barwick at idg.com.au
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