Vol. 4 No. 9 – November 2006



Cybercrime: An Epidemic

Painted in the broadest of strokes, cybercrime essentially is the leveraging of information systems and technology to commit larceny, extortion, identity theft, fraud, and, in some cases, corporate espionage. Who are the miscreants who commit these crimes, and what are their motivations? One might imagine they are not the same individuals committing crimes in the physical world. Bank robbers and scam artists garner a certain public notoriety after only a few occurrences of their crimes, yet cybercriminals largely remain invisible and unheralded. Based on sketchy news accounts and a few public arrests, such as Mafiaboy, accused of paralyzing Amazon, CNN, and other Web sites, the public may infer these miscreants are merely a subculture of teenagers. In this article we provide insight into the root causes of cybercrime, its participants and their motivations, and we identify some of the issues inherent in dealing with this crime wave.

by Team Cymru

E-mail Authentication: What, Why, How?

Internet e-mail was conceived in a different world than we live in today. It was a small, tightly knit community, and we didn’t really have to worry too much about miscreants. Generally, if someone did something wrong, the problem could be dealt with through social means; “shunning” is very effective in small communities.

by Eric Allman

Criminal Code: The Making of a Cybercriminal

NOTE: This is a fictional account of malware creators and their experiences. Although the characters are made up, the techniques and events are patterned on real activities of many different groups developing malicious software.

by Thomas Wadlow, Vlad Gorelik

Playing for Keeps

Inflection points come at you without warning and quickly recede out of reach. We may be nearing one now. If so, we are now about to play for keeps, and “we” doesn’t mean just us security geeks. If anything, it’s because we security geeks have not worked the necessary miracles already that an inflection point seems to be approaching at high velocity.

by Daniel E. Geer


A Conversation with Douglas W. Jones and Peter G. Neumann

Douglas W. Jones and Peter G. Neumann have long been active participants in promoting integrity in the election process, with special emphasis on the dependable use of information technology, as well as on the weak-link nature of the entire process, from beginning to end.


The Joy of Spam

Not a day goes by that a large amount of spam doesn’t get past the two filters that I have in place (one on the server and one on my mail client). Most of this e-mail is annoying and some of it dangerous. But I have finally come to peace with spam and it no longer bothers me. How did I do that, you ask? I have learned to respect, even love, spam’s malicious beauty. I want to share my journey to inner peace, hopeful that you will find happiness too.

by Phillip A. Laplante

Kode Vicious

Understanding the Problem

Is there any data showing that Java projects are any more or less successful than those using older languages?

by George Neville-Neil


Better Health Care Through Technology

Leveraging technology to support aging relatives in their homes is a cost-efficient way to maintain health and happiness and extend life. As the technology expert for my extended family, it has fallen to me to architect the infrastructure that will support my family’s aging loved ones in their homes as long as possible. Over the years, I have assisted four different senior households in achieving this goal, and although things have been bumpy at times, I have refined technical solutions and methodologies that seem to work well.

by Mache Creeger