Software Programs, Technology Security

Update – Are we our own worst enemy in the war against Cyber Crime?

Have you seen Die Hard 4.0? Well after the attacks on US and South Korean sites over the holiday weekend I am beginning to think that the "bad guys" involved in these attack did.

It seems to be an interesting parallel that the attacks started on the same day as in the movie. Granted this was no "fire sale" but still these attacks were high-level DDoS attacks on major governmental and consumer sites. Is this merely a test of our response to the threats or was this a real attack intended to prevent access.

Despite humorous images of the "I’m a Mac" guy and Bruce Willis running all over the world looking for the people that controlled the 50,000+ system botnet involved in the attacks. [Can you picture them kicking down some old lady?s door and shooting her computer?]. These attacks do warrant concern.

It makes me wonder about the state of our systems out there and how 50 thousand systems can become infected. Almost every PC is sold with anti-virus on it, yes it is a trail but they still have it. Are consumers not educated enough to know they need a real malware solution? Is the industry failing the consumer by not making more secure systems?

Many people do not buy Anti-Virus software due to the cost of renewal, and the innate headaches that come with the protection suites that are offered. I have heard many times that a user will turn this or that off because it was bugging them. Programs like Norton 360 and McAfee slow down systems when installed. This puts users off using them.

If you go with a less intrusive application you are spending more money to get it and you can expect to pay that same price again in a year. Again the requirement to pay almost full retail to renew your anti-virus updates has kept many people from renewing. They shift to free software, most of which can barely protect you from threats that are two years old.

But simply having any application, updated or not, gives them a false sense of confidence. They surf the web, open e-mails blindly and end up complaining that their system is slow.

So in the war on cyber crime it seems that an uneducated public, insecure software [including Apple and Adobe], and corporate greed [in terms of renewal fees] are our biggest enemies. It is the equivalent of leaving your prized possessions out on the lawn and expecting no one to take them.