The Digital Underworld

Roger-Box-photo-300x0-1Software as a service could become crime as a service as the internet gets more sophisticated. Roger Box looks at the future of online skulduggery.

At a SXSW session this week Marc Goodman kept the room captive with his tales of the Dark Side of the internet – the so-called Digital Underworld – and what trouble the future holds.

He has a bit of experience in the matter; as well as being a former police officer, he advises Interpol, NATO and the UN on cyber crime issues.

Sounding awfully like a climate scientist trying to alert the world to global warming, Goodman is warning a dramatically bigger global effort is needed on security. Some of the points he raised included:

  • Google can detect 0.03 per cent of the surface and deep web. This is the stuff most of us can explore and access. In the midst of the Deep Web, criminals with relative anonymity can easily enable illegal trades made famous by sites such as the illicit drug buying marketplace Silk Road.
  • The Dark Web is now more searchable with sites like Grams, a functioning Google parody, complete with a ‘I’m feeling lucky’ option.
  • Cyber terrorism is easier and more prolific than ever with software for sale that amateurs can buy and use.
  • Ransomeware can lock your hard drive and delete it if you don’t pay the terrorist in bitcoins within 24 hours.
  • A falsified tweet from Associate Press about explosions at the White House and President Obama being injured caused $136 billion to be wiped off Wall Street in 138 seconds.
  • Drones have changed the physical paradigm of security, for example smuggling drugs into prisons

Goodman proposes that with six steps, called the UPDATE protocol, 85% of cyber crime is preventable.

Spooky stuff.

Roger Box is digital director at Clemenger BBDO MelbourneSXSW bazaarvoice  banner


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