Cybercrime and Punishment, and a little Cryptanalysis…

Well, not so much about punishment, but I’m sitting in the lounge with Andrew Davies’s version of Dr. Zhivago in the background, so I’m in a Russian mood…

My colleague Jeff Debrosse, Director of Research in our San Diego office, drew my attention to the latest FBI challenge at http://www.fbi.gov/page2/dec08/code_122908.html. Like many people in this business, I’m fascinated by encryption and decryption, but I don’t have a particular talent for it, so I probably won’t attempt the challenge. I was interested enough to follow this link, though, which is a short primer on "Analysis of Criminal Codes and Ciphers" by Daniel Olson, a cryptanalyst forensic examiner with the bureau. As an introduction to some basic cryptographic techniques with some real-life (criminal) applications, it looks very readable. If you’re interested in something a bit more comprehensive but not particularly technical/mathematical, Simon Singh’s "The Code Book" is also very readable. Bruce Schneier has written a couple of books that are still practical rather than theoretical, if you fancy something with a bit more meat to it…

Speaking of Jeff Debrosse, he was recently featured on Fox 5 News, talking about cybercrime. We posted a link here. Nice one, Jeff. :-) And since we’re blowing our own trumpets here, thank you Paul Lilly for a very positive review of ESET Smart Security in MaximumPC. ;-)

David Harley BA CISSP FBCS CITP
Director of Malware Intelligence

Author David Harley, ESET

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