Using Piracy as a Crimeware Defense

Friday, October 01, 2010

Brent Huston


So, just a quick thought on this one...

What if we, as security folks, made a serious endeavor to reduce the earning capability of those who create crimeware, spyware and other malware?

What if we did to them exactly what the gaming companies and MPAA have been saying is killing their business?

What if every time we saw a piece of “licensed” crimeware tool, we cracked it and published keygens and other cracks for it?

Sure, in the mid-term there would be more attackers able to use the malware. But, what if, in the longer term, less malware were actually created?

What if the bar went up to the point where publishing these tools was no longer profitable? Would the numbers and evolution of malware be slowed?

I am asking, not because I have an answer in mind, but because I am curious.

At what point does striking at the root of the profitability of criminals reduce their efforts and capabilities?

Anyone with ideas or experience in this line of thought, please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your responses!

Cross-posted from State of Security

Also see the interview with Larry Clinton, Internet Security Alliance (ISA) President and CEO, who stated:

ISA's mission is to integrate advanced technology with business economics and public policy to create a sustainable system of cyber security.

Core to this notion is that we need to mature our understanding of this issue to appreciate that cyber security is as much an economic and strategic issue as it is an operational technical one.

So we are focused on altering the economics of cyber security.

The main reason we have so many attacks is all the economic incentives currently favor the attackers---attacks are easy, cheap, you can steal billions and your chances of getting caught are slim.

If we can increase the cost to the attackers and simultaneously increase the profitability of good cyber defense we believe we can create the sustainable system of cyber security which will make out nation and our economy the envy of the world in the 21st century, just as we were in the 20th century.

From: Altering the Economics of Cybersecurity

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