Carrots, Sticks and Cyber-spies

Carrots, Sticks and Cyber-spies

The US legislature is proposing international cybercrime laws according to an article on Dark Reading . The idea is to provide incentives to cooperate on fighting cybercrime, as well as penalties for countries that do not cooperate. Part of the plan calls for a “Cyber-Security Ambassador” .

There is an interesting dynamic to the idea. I have no doubt that many, if not most countries are engaged in cyber-espionage. If you mostly eliminate the rogue cyber-criminals then what you have left are the state sponsored spies. In practice it may well be that even with broad international cooperation there will still be so much cyber-crime that the cyber-spies can hide out in the “noise”.

Assuming the proposed bill is passed, I believe it will be at least 2 years before policies and procedures are defined and implemented. There may well be a few scattered early victories, but I suspect it will be at least 5 years before we see a moderately effective, coordinated international effort to fight cyber-crime on the international nation level.
The idea is still worth pursuing. Even if it takes a few years, 20 years from now we’ll be in a worse place if we don’t at least try. There already are many instances of private sector companies and individuals working internationally to combat cyber-crime. A cyber-NATO can go a long way toward helping to make the web a safer place.
It’s a pity that neither Henry Kissinger nor Leonard Nimoy is likely to be available for the cyber-ambassador role.
Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author , ESET

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