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Internet Security

Could "Fritter" be a Twitter-killer in the web 2.0 "ecommony?"

What is likely to be the next Twitter, the hot micro-blogging web 2.0 app/phenomenon that lets Twitterers "tweet" to the world what they are doing at any given moment?

  • To answer that important forward-looking question we need to extrapolate where current Web 2.0 social networking trends are taking us.

First, since Twitter only allows micro-messages of 140 characters or less (the length of my first sentence), the big trend must be "less is more."

This gave me an idea for a new Web 2.0 killer app: "Fritter."

The Open Internet's Growing Security Problem -- Part IV in the Series

Evidence continues to mount that the real problem on the Internet is that it is not as safe/secure as it needs to be -- not the popular neutralist myth that it is not open/neutral enough. (Parts: I, II, III)

  • I would be surprised, if the succinct evidence that I have assembled below, does not deeply trouble the reader.  
  • Moreover, it is also troubling that there is not more focus on the real and increasing problem of Internet safety/security because there is so much attention focused on making the Internet even more open and vulnerable than it already is.    

The Mounting Evidence of a Growing Internet Security Problem:

Why a computer security pro is against pure net neutrality

Please check out "Why I am against pure net Neutrality" by Adam O'Donnell a R&D engineer for Cloudmark.

Mr. O'Donnell understands that the extreme calls for no bit interference by many net neutrality proponents turns an irresponsible blind eye to the necessity of Internet security. 

The vision for a dumb pipe digital commons ill-serves Internet users because it bans smart network innovation at the core that could enable better internet security for all.

 

 

 

"Do we need a new Internet?" Eventually of course! Until then we need smart network innovation

In asking the important question: "Do we need a new Internet?," John Markoff's article in the New York Times has helped focus the overall Internet debate on the importance of encouraging innovation to better protect Internet users.

  • Mr. Markoff's important article spotlights efforts by mainstream researchers like Stanford's Clean Slate project to "re-invent the Internet" to address its security deficiencies. It also provided an outlet for those concerned about the Internet's increasingly serious security vulnerabilities.  

It should not be surprising that researchers would be trying to innovate to create a better Internet that is safer and more secure; given that the:

The Open Internet's Growing Security Problem -- Part III

Evidence continues to mount that the real problem on the Internet is that it is not as safe/secure as it needs to be -- not the popular myth that it is not open/neutral enough. (See previous posts in this ongoing series here: Part I, Part II)

  • It is a sad state of affairs when there is more media and public policy attention paid to addressing potential "open" Internet problems, than to the very real and increasing Internet safety/security problems.

 

More evidence on the seriousness of the Internet's growing security problem:

"The Online Shadow Economy: a billion dollar market for malware authors." MessageLabs White Paper

  • "The shadow Internet economy is worth over $105 billion. Online crime is bigger than the global drug trade."
  • "With little chance of being caught and so much money at stake, it is little wonder that "a huge number of people are involved""
  • "...malware is going to get more common and more virulent..."

 "Corporations Are Inadvertently Becoming the No. 1 Security Threat to Their Own Customers, According to New IBM X-Force(R) Annual Report"

The Open Internet's Growing Security Problem -- Part II

Evidence mounts that the real problem on the Internet, is not that it is not open/neutral enough, but that it is not as safe/secure as it needs to be. (Part I)

  • Public policy priorities are really warped when there is so much discussion about addressing an unproven and potential net neutrality problem, and relatively little discussion about addressing the very real, serious and growing Internet safety/security problems.

Mounting evidence: 

"Cyber-Scams on the Uptick in downturn:" Wall Street Journal

  • "Experts and law enforcement officials who track Internet crime say scams have intensified in the past six months as fraudsters take advantage of economic confusion and anxiety to target both consumers and businesses." 
    • "Cyber-assaults on many banks have doubled in the past six months in the U.S."     

"70 of Top 100 Web Sites Spread Malware" Information Week

  • "That represents a 16% increase over the first half of 2008."

"Website infection rising, warns Websense" PortalIT News

An 80-20 rule for cat herding at a dog parade -- or improving Internet security

Kudos to the group of Internet security experts who came up with the Top 25 coding flaws that lead to ~85% of all cyber-criminal activity on the Internet -- thanks for the heads up from Zero Day Threat and Byron Acohido's article in USA Today.

I look at this ~85-25 insight as the cyber-security community's version of the old 80-20 adage that 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. 

  • While the numbers are slightly off in this instance -- the concept is dead on. 
  • If you want to get anything done in the real world, one has to use tried and true strategies like the 80-20 rule

To explain the rest of my mixed metaphor...

The Open Internet's Growing Security Problem

Evidence mounts that the real problem on the Internet is not that the Internet is not open enough, but that it is not as safe/secure as it needs to be.

  • See the Washington Post article today: "Data breaches are up almost 50%, affecting records of 35.7 million people."
    • "...annual statistics mask the extent of the problem; many businesses fail to report data breaches."
  • See ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn's article: "The Biggest Threat to Open source in 2009" -- which spotlights the dirty little secret that open source projects don't have an update process, the fundamental method to address, patch or fix new Internet/software security problems in a timely and effective manner.
    • As Mr. Blankenhorn highlights: "There is no longer any doubt that hackers and malware writers are going after open source projects as they once went after Windows. Vulnerabilities are being found, discovered, created, exchanged. The best protection against vulnerabilities is to keep software updated, but most open source lacks update services." 
  • Also see Mr. Blankenhorn's earlier piece: "Which open source projects are most secure?" where he notes that Yahoo had one project in the top ten, but Google had none of the most secure open source software projects.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths