Now distributed security approach to curb cyber crime

June 16th, 2009 - 5:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 16 (ANI): A new approach to online security, based on distributed sanctions, could help prevent cybercrime, fraud and identity theft, according to a report.

Susan Brenner, of the University of Dayton School of Law, and Leo Clarke, of the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, have suggested that the government could control cybercrime by making anyone accessing cyberspace to employ reasonable security measures but without infringing on civil liberties.

The researchers explained the law repeatedly fails to tackle the modern phenomenon of cybercrime, where criminals operate virtually through distributed networks and exploit a multitude of loopholes in software and hardware, making use of social engineering.

And the primary reason why the old legal system fails to combat cybercrime is because the criminal can be anywhere in the world, and can commit many thousands of crimes just with the help of an Internet connection.

According to the researchers, a new paradigm is now needed to cope with this changing landscape of criminal activity.

And the new paradigm cannot rely on sanctions, but instead, it must turn the distributed nature of cybercrime on its head.

They suggest that a new model must shift the focus of law enforcement from reaction and punishment to deterrence and prevention and to do so requires something akin to community policing but in the virtual world.

The researchers explained that individuals must recognize that they are their own front line defence against cybercrime, but the critical community structures on the internet doesn’t make them alone in building and maintaining their defences.

They argued that a new generation of cybercrime prevention laws would require citizens, organizations, and companies to identify and obtain the tools necessary to prevent cybercrime, to install these tools and keep them updated, and to use them in an effective manner to prevent identity theft, anonymous email relaying, and the expansion of zombie networks of infected computers.

But, the laws do not provide a prescription for deciding which tools are effective or how this might be policed.

Still, by inverting the usual prevention and sanction approach, the individuals’ expectation of law enforcement becomes their responsibility to avoid being a victim.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Intercultural Information Management. (ANI)

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