It was a dream team, a panel of real experts discussing the rapidly escalating threat of cybercrime. Imagine Microsoft‘s chief research officer, Craig Mundie, along with Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker, McAfee chief executive Dave Dewalt, Harvard law professor and Internet expert Jonathan Zittrain, as well Andre Kudelski of the digital security Kudelski group, and Tom Ilube, head of web protection company Garlik. These are people who know their business.
Davos rules prohibit attribution of comments, but according to the BBC, they discussed cybercrime, the system, cyber warfare, and possible solutions.
The majority of cybercrime comes from organized criminal gangs, rather than individuals. As one panelist commented:
"This is not vandalism anymore, but organized criminality," while another added that "this is it is not about technology, but our economy."
The panel seemed to agree that there are flaws in the set-up of the Web, with no particular group responsible for fixing problems, instead relying on volunteers.
As more devices become Web-enabled, the threat of cyber warfare takes on greater importance, and whether it could actually take down the Net.
"The problems are daunting, and it’s getting worse," one panelist said, while another wondered, "Do we need a true disaster to bring people together?" asked another.
One panelist proposed the equivalent of a World Health Organization for the Net.
"If you have a highly communicable disease, you don’t have any civil liberties at that point. We quarantine people."
"We can identify the machines that have been co-opted, that provide the energy to botnets, but right now we have no way to sequester them."
That said, others pointed out that the openness of the Net was its greatest strength, and that centralization and government intervention could offer different threats.
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