Russian Government is Protecting Cybercriminals for Political Actions, Author Alleges

By on 10/28/2010 9:02 PM @beet_tv

SAN FRANCISCO — While the threat of cyber terrorism is much discussed in government and the media, the biggest threat around Internet security are state-supported industrial espionage as practiced by the Chinese and organized crime activities in Russia supported by the government.

These are the conclusions of Joseph Menn, technology correspondent who covers cyber security for the Financial Times out of the San Francisco bureau.  Menn is author of Fatal System Error.

The book about global Web security and cyber threats was published as an expanded edition in paperback this week by the PublicAffairs imprint of Perseus. 

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Menn charges that Russia and other governments are protecting organized cyber crime groups because they use them in political actions. The line between crime and war has blurred.

Vast majority of computer users are vulnerable because they don’t patch all their programs. Companies aren’t much better off due to social networking and other factors.

Attempts at crafting international agreements to slow growth of crime and restrict cyber-weapons have been hurt by the Stuxnet worm’s attack on Iran, which is likely to be a model for more attacks in the months ahead.

In conclusion, Menn notes in this interview with Beet.TV “the Internet was not designed for security in mind” and efforts to fix it may be too late.

We interviewed him in the FT’s San Francisco bureau earlier this week.

Andy Plesser

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