NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pirates and Internet Crime Posted by Sean @ 15:38 GMT

One of the radio programs that I regularly listen to, via podcast, is Marketplace from American Public Media.

Last Thursday's program included a very interesting segment about a pirate.

Not a software pirate. An Indonesian sea pirate.

"I want to stop. It's dangerous out at sea. I have a dream that one day I will make so much money I can quit this work…, But until then, what else can I do?" — Agus Laodi, Pirate.

APM Marketplace

Being an Indonesian pirate involves boarding a cargo ship on a dark moonless night, holding a large knife to the ship's captain, and demanding money from the safe. Agus Laodi doesn't like his job. But he does it because it seems like an opportunity to him under the circumstances.

Read/listen to more here.

Agus Laodi's situation reminded me of Ronit… He wants to be an Internet criminal.

"Hi, i Am Ronit I am In 9th [grade] And I Struggled A Lot In My Life , But I Still Happy Bcoz My Family Is With Me , But Now i didn't have any friend here , all people's are very bad , i really wana change my life , please teach that how to hack cc's or shop admin's"…

In other words, Ronit wants to "improve his life" by stealing credit card account information. And why not? As long as he has Internet access, stealing CC's has got to beat many of the other possible alternatives to which some people turn.

Here's a screenshot of the forum where Ronit posted his message:

Hack CC's and Shop Admin's

"When you have poor people next to rich people, you have piracy." The Internet has no borders — so rich and poor exist together. As Internet access expands to everyone, so too will Internet crime expand. It's a social issue as much as it is a technology issue. Perhaps we need to begin thinking of solutions for both.

Our Q3 2008 Security Wrap-up, has more on crime and punishment.

Signing off,