An Insight Into the World of Cyber Forensics


Mention crime and we think of robberies, murders and detectives examining the crime scene, interrogating witnesses and finally nailing the guilty.

But there is, however, another kind of crime, where traditional methods of criminal investigation fall flat on its face. Instances like hacking, cyber fraud, phishing, identity and data theft, all account as cyber crime. Cyber crime can be defined as an illegal electronic operation that target the security of computer systems and data processed by them. Even though it may appear that the effects of cyber crime are not life threatening, they have the potential to disrupt life. A survey in UK inferred that people were more scared of their bank accounts being hacked or credit card details stolen over the internet, than they were of robberies. There have been numerous cases, wherein people have been vulnerable to cyber crime in one way or the other. Crime can never be eradicated, but it can be prevented with the help of effective security to information. Whenever cyber crimes are committed, cyber forensic experts enter the scene and try to sniff out the clues and help in catching the culprits.

Skills and Tools

A cyber forensic expert is supposed to be adept in network security because most cyber crimes take place over networks. They should be competent in data recovery and encryption, because data and passwords are the targets of information theft. The experts should also be aware of cyber laws as most of the cases can got to court, where the forensic expert would be calles either as a witness or an examiner. A cyber forensics expert need not necessarily have to deal with computers all the time. Depending on the nature of cases and crime committed, the experts have to work on mobile phones, PDA's, USB drives, media players, etc.

When it comes to corporate houses, they don't really tend to trust the cops. They guard their systems and data by hiring the services of experts in information securities, such as Agape Inc. Also the process of collecting evidence after a cyber crime has been committed is not a cakewalk. Lot of care needs to be taken while collecting the evidence and processing them, as the loss of even an electron of information could mean that the data would not stand up to legal scrutiny. Of course, the job of forensic experts is very difficult, but they are assisted by some tools which help in processing the data quickly. The cyber forensic tools are software packages that can be used to preserve the state of storage devices or extract data from them. These softwares fall in 3 categories:

1. Open source software

2. Proprietary software

3. Tailor-made software for specific needs, designed by companies.

Courses and Career Path

The field of cyber forensics is still evolving and there is a lot of confusion on the part of students who are interested in pursuing this as a career option. To be good in this field, one needs to master various disciplines.Not only should they be experts in examining an evidence, they should also know the legal procedures of presenting the evidence in the court. For example, a cyber forensic expert would work on computer networks as well as network security. This means that network security certifications from renowned institutes/companies are essential for the candidate, to provide a good starting point.

A career in cyber forensics can be sought both in public and private sector. In the public sector, people are mostly absorbed into law enforcement agencies, state forensic departments and central agencies. In private sector, the scope for cyber forensic experts is immense as many experts would be required to detect and solve the increasing cyber crimes. Also, after sufficient experience, professionals can divert into freelancing and become independent security consultants.

Thus the job of a cyber forensic expert is a mixture of a cop and a geek, which is challenging and interesting, for committed professionals.

The New Identity Theft Law - Will it Work?

Identity theft is now a pandemic, and a scourge for its victims. Is the federal government finally ready to fight back? The Identity Theft and Restitution Act of 2008 was signed into law by President Bush. The new law is supposed to make it easier for the government to convict those charged with pursuing computerized identity theft. Supporters tout this legislation as allowing federal prosecutors to be more aggressive in cracking down on identity theft cyber crime. But will it work to protect millions of future victims? The new law provides for the following:

1. Discarding the requirement that damage to a victim's computer exceed $5,000 over a one year period before charges can be asserted for unauthorized access to a computer.

2. Eliminating the interstate jurisdictional requirement, thus allowing prosecution of those who steal personal information from a computer, even when the victim's computer is located in the same state as the thief's computer.

3. Allowing victims of identity theft to seek restitution for an amount equal to the value of the time reasonably spent to fix their problems.

4. Adding the charge of a conspiracy to commit cyber crimes. (The prior law only allowed for charges related to the actual crime, and made no provisions for conspiracy to commit the underlying charge.)

5. Adding the remedies of civil and criminal forfeiture to better allow federal prosecutors to combat cyber crime. Individuals found guilty of violating the act can be forced to forfeit both property used in commission of the cyber crime, as well as property obtained from any proceeds gained from the cyber crime.

6. Making it a felony to electronically damage ten or more computers no matter the value of the damage caused.

7. Making it a crime to threaten to steal or release information from an individual's computer. (Prior law only permitted the prosecution of those who seek to extort companies or government agencies by explicitly threatening to shut down or damage a computer.)

It is intended that the new law will allow federal prosecutors to be much more aggressive in prosecuting identity theft criminals. Elimination of both the $5,000 damage requirement and the interstate jurisdictional requirement should make it easier for prosecutors to bring charges. But will it really help? The federal government has tried to keep up with identity theft for years with few results. If the feds are truly interested in stamping out the pandemic, it is with the enforcement of the laws, and not just new laws, that will turn the tide. Still, there are encouraging signs that a wide ranging effort is being made. The IRS is helping out by allowing in this next year all but the last four digits of taxpayer ID numbers to be blocked out on 1099's, W-2s, and other informational returns. There is privacy in that move.

Fighting Cyber Crime With A Career In Criminal Justice

Are you worried about the spread of crime spilling over onto the Internet? Would you like to work in a field of law enforcement that handles crimes against people, property, and business in the cyber world? You may want to consider pursuing a career in the criminal justice system. Those who like working with computers and on the Internet can have a rewarding career preventing people from becoming a victim of a cyber crime.

Choosing to earn a degree in criminal justice means you want to prevent crimes against the people. Because most people spend a large portion of their time online, shopping, and browsing for information, or on social networking sites, it has become a breeding ground for those who want to commit theft. It has also given those who investigate cyber crimes a lot more work to do. With a criminal justice degree, you may choose to investigate cyber crimes.

Crimes committed on the Internet are only new because of the venue in which these crimes take place. Identity theft, credit card fraud, and other crimes have been going on for a long time. Stealing personal information for private gain online is a newer crime. Shopping online has hit new heights recently as more and more people choose the convenience of making online purchases as opposed to trips to the mall.

Many people unknowingly set themselves up for cyber fraud. Cyber fraud consists of crimes that at one time were committed by mail or over the phone. Criminals in the act of consumer fraud have become more creative in their efforts to scam others with the advent of the Internet. Criminal justice investigators must always stay a step ahead of those who commit cyber crimes.

One form of cyber fraud is consumer fraud, the act of deliberate misrepresentation to deceive another out of their money for personal gain. People who commit cyber fraud rely on a percentage of people online that take fewer precautions when shopping online. Consumer fraud involves the promise of a service or product after consumers send money, only to find that what they pay for never arrives.

This is the most talked about type of cyber crime, and it is the theft of personal information or data consumers store on their computers. It is also theft of financial information shared on the Internet. Identity fraud is another crime born before the birth of the Internet. Identity fraud occurs when thieves steal information from consumers to gain access to their financial resources.

Before computers and the Internet, thieves procured this information by going through trash to retrieve old credit cards and bank account information. Other thieves hack into networks of financial institutions and banks to get their hands on large sums of money belonging to a number of consumers.

Laws Protecting Elder Financial Fraud Must Come With Stiff Penalties To Do Any Good

Everybody is worried about cyber attacks, identity theft, and hackers when it comes to their personal finances. Many senior citizens are so afraid that they will not do online banking, and they don't even want to file their tax returns over the Internet. The IRS prefers online filing because they would rather have everything in a digital format, who can blame them, it cuts down on their administration costs, and it keeps everything very simple. That is of course until something goes wrong, something like identity theft and financial fraud.

Don't think it can't happen, it happens all the time. For instance, there was an interesting article in the Boston Business Journal on January 14, 2013 titled; "Citizens Bank teller could do 30 years for embezzling from elderly victims," where a teller reportedly stole some $375,000 from three elderly bank customers. What is so unfortunate is that this is far too common a problem. What usually occurs is there is basically an inside job. The teller collects the information from the senior citizen when they make a deposit; their signature, bank account number, and all their information. They may even know how often they make deposits and withdrawals. They also know how much money is in the account.

Next, the bank teller slips this information to a friend who then carries out the fraud or identity theft by coming into the bank, cashing a large check, or creating a fake check or using information from the senior citizen's online banking or ATM pin code. It often happens that seniors may not even know they've been ripped off for many months. This makes it even harder to catch the thieves because by the time the bank finds out or someone doing the accounting or tax return for the senior citizen notices something is missing, it is months after the fact.

By then the thieves are long gone, along with all of the elderly person's money. Luckily, we have stiff penalties for those who would rip-off senior citizens, and that's a good thing. Of course, this is only one way that seniors are ripped off every day, many of the other ways involve much more elaborate schemes, and some of those take years for anyone to ever catch. If you know of someone who may have been ripped off, someone who is a senior citizen, there are all sorts of local, regional, and federal authorities you can contact. It's up to all of us to look out for our senior citizens.

Brawn Vs Brain in New Cyber-Bullying Lawsuit Involving Facebook

A story about an anti-bullying lawsuit involving Facebook was just mentioned on Digital Trends. A woman in the UK, who has been subject to various accounts of cyber-bullying (of course this is all "alleged") has filed a lawsuit compelling Facebook to give up the identities of those cyber-bullies in question. Problem is if Facebook caves in, what will this do for our privacy laws? It's an intriguing situation, should a precedent of this nature be set.

The title of this post is "Brains vs Brawn" but could have easily been titled, "how things change technologically but moral dilemmas don't change at all". Let's take the core issue - cyber-bullying. Is it any different than "playground" bullying say 25 years ago? Well yes and no. The intent of bullies is to instill fear into their victims. Long ago it used to be more physical than psychological. Those who engage in cyber-bullying have the same mentality of that ruthless school bully - an intent to injure whether it be physical or psychological damage. Internet exchanges are more psychological affairs than physical, for obvious reasons. A big difference is that the internet user is "cloaked", he or she can have many security layers to protect identification.

The internet "cloak" can bring out the worst in people which includes trolling. It is much more difficult to harass a person, in person, than it is to verbally abuse someone over the internet. Most things would go unsaid in a realistic, real life situation. Bullying over the net is more like psychological warfare and many more people, with ill-intent, can get in on the badgering. It has the potential to become a cyber-mob situation. One could argue that this has a lot more negative ramifications than the simple occurrence of a playground incident. The abuse can continue without end and has high potential to expand. It is also much more difficult to monitor and/or catch.

So here we have this case where privacy laws will be able to protect cyber-bullies and we ask what Facebook should do about this. On the playground, you either fight or flee. Bullies often need to be confronted. But what to do with cyber-bullying. Confrontation is virtually impossible at this point. Facebook really has no legal obligation to provide the names of those identified as cyber-bullies. Yet there is a need to stop this kind of abuse.

As we read further in the news snippet, it appears that the UK will be trying to implement a monitoring system to dissuade potential bullies from taking to malevolent action. It's quite an undertaking. But what does this do for internet law-abiding citizens? Should a few bad apples ruin the bunch? This doesn't seem like the answer either.

Until some reasonable monitoring system comes into play, it is clear what most be done by the victims of cyber-bullying: stay away from the places where this might happen. Change your address on Facebook and get a fresh start. Don't take the bait. This is the internet after all. There are a lot of baiters.

Other other hand, if you are the victim of relentless cyber-stalking, maybe it's time to get a lawyer and file a lawsuit. But don't expect Facebook to support you to any extent. They are running a business and service after all and it is your choice to engage in their business or not.

A Shortage of Computer Experts - Help Needed!

It's certainly true that the world is facing tough economic times. But in the field of computers and technology the line-up of occupations offering high paying salaries is simply astounding. And one area in particular, known as computer forensics, faces a serious shortage of experts.

So why should you consider a career in this exciting profession? With the FBI's reported increase in crimes, the demand for computer forensics pros is overwhelming. These professionals are needed to investigate crimes that include abuses of the Internet by employees, industrial espionage, hacking, fraud, deception, terrorism, drug dealing and violence among many. In 2009 for instance, the FBI warned the public of scams that target charitable contributors during times of natural disasters.

Computer forensic professionals are sought by law enforcement agencies such as the CIA, the Department of Defense, NSA, FBI, Interpol and big corporations to name but a few. Their job entails retrieving vital information from computers as well as recreating events that would lead to securing convictions. After all, computers can be the target of a crime such as in the theft of social security benefits; they can be the instrument of a crime like in the theft of government secrets; or the evidence of a violent crime as seen in cases of child pornography.

Many nations around the globe deal with day to day threats in national security. This has opened the market for individuals who specialize in cyber technology. Stopping hackers and Internet terrorism has become a priority.

The field can be fun, rewarding and certainly never tedious. A forensics technician will copy the hard drive and retrieve all of the files. This of course will include the files that were lost or intentionally deleted. He or she will analyze the protected folders and the hidden areas of the drive. The expert will conduct an in-depth investigation of the data, will study the user's activities and henceforth, write a detailed report.

To better understand the usefulness of this field let's look at the case of Joseph E. Duncan. Data retrieved from his home computer which included a list of contacts taken with a business card scanner led to his apprehension; the information found on a spread sheet led to his conviction and the death penalty.

So if you're looking for a career that's lucrative, exciting and certainly pivotal to society don't hesitate. Computer forensics' experts will never lack for jobs.

Email Marketing! How Company Can Stay On The Right Side Of The Anti-Spamming Law

Email marketing, leveraging on today well-connected system of sending and receiving messages over a computer network, it is probably the easiest way for companies to keep in touch with their customers while at the same time be on the right side anti-spamming law. If done correctly, Email marketing can be an inexpensive and quick way of reaching a very large audience.

However when it is inexpensive, easy and quick way to reach your audience, it is also the same for spammer to clogs up inboxes and most company people are quick to delete the deluge of mail without even reading it. So it has become increasingly more difficult to promote a business using email marketing.

The key is to get the right people wanting to receive your mailings and staying on the right side of anti-spamming law. To do this, you need to do opt-in mailing, which having people either sign up on your company website or provide their email addresses when they make a purchase.

Email marketing even with opt-in leads can still become redundant and the recipient will likely opt-out from the company mailing list unless your mailings have that "X" factor such as:

  • Offer new discounted products or services regularly
  • Niche targeted mailings
  • Offer some content - even two or three sentences can provide a reason to read your marketing newsletter - such as five steps for a healthy heart from a healthcare company are ways to keep your audience reading your email messages
  • A catchy headline in the "Subject" box
  • A recognizable company name in the "From" box
  • A simple one-click manner in which they can get more information for a specific products or services and ease of reaching the company customer services
  • Focus your marketing effort on benefits to the customer

The "Top Fold" of your mailing is very "critically important" when open and when you got them reading your email, you can put as much as you'd like about your company farther down the page.

Readers should be able to get more information by clicking on various places on the initial email marketing newsletter and be brought to a targeted Landing Page of your website. Don't send them to a company home page and make them go "round the bush" to search for the specific information that brought them there.

Rules of thumb for Email marketing:

  • Make sure everyone on the list has agreed to be there - voluntarily opt-in
  • Reassure readers that their company or individual information will not be shared - have a privacy statement
  • Give readers an opportunity to opt-out from your email list - a must under anti-spamming law
  • Keep information concise, to the point and focused on their needs so that they want to read further or motivated to take action
  • Don't go on a cyber blitz - emailing more than once a week can be annoying
  • Provide a choice of HTML or text version

Email marketing newsletters are a great way to drive customers to your website. Sending a monthly or quarterly Newsletter is the easiest way to stay in touch with your customers and to keep your clients informed of your latest developments in your business, new product offerings and seasonal deals. Your marketing "Newsletter-only" specials or coupons are a great way to increase your company subscriber list and drum up sales. Other pointers for newsletter are:

  • Identify your audience - take your cue from magazine publishers. They know exactly who their target audience is, what motivates these companies or individual to buy and then tailor your marketing newsletter around their needs.
  • Research your competitor product or service and how you can do better.
  • What is your email or newsletter purpose and what you want to achieve - help them to make purchasing decisions and you must first show them how it can make them smarter, healthier, wealthier and more successful.
  • Creating content - your newsletter will need to be more than just marketing material for your products. Including informative articles, interviews or other company information will entice your email subscribers to actually open and read your e-newsletter.

With your objectives defined your content and design of your newsletter ready. All you need now is to launch your marketing material to your customers. For this you need a mailing list and begin with your own in-house list.

You may want to outsource email marketing campaign to an auto-responder service provider to free up your staff to concentrate on your company core business. This type of Service provider Opt-In box pasted on your website to capture visitor details, builds up permission-based mailing list, deliver your newsletter, and track your sales and results. They are generally on the right side of the anti-spamming law.

Whichever way you choose to build your list, the new anti-spamming law requires every email marketing newsletter to include an opt-out provision and a valid company or individual physical address.

A double opt-in policy will ensure that your marketing materials are both welcome and legal. It requires users to confirm twice to their subscription request: once when they sign up, again to confirm the subscription and their valid email address.

How to Remove United States Cyber Security Virus

United States Cyber Security virus is a ransomware that was programmed to attack computers in USA. This virus can be distinguished from other malwares by a very aggressive behavior towards an infected machine. As soon as it gets inside the system, it blocks computer completely. The only thing the owner of the infected machine can see is a message:

Your PC is blocked due to at least one of the reasons specified below.

You have been violating Copyright and Related Rights Law (Video, Music, Software) and illegally using or distributing copyrighted content, thus infringing Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, also known as the Copyright of the Criminal Code of United States of America.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Criminal Code provides for a fine of two to five hundred minimal wages or a deprivation of liberty for two to eight years.


To unblock the computer, you must pay the fine through MoneyPak of $100.

United States Cyber Security virus just like other versions of this ransomware such as FBI virus, Canadian Police virus or Ukash virus gets inside computer using security holes and system vulnerabilities. One might get infected by the virus after downloading a corrupted file or visiting an infected webpage. United States Cyber Security virus is distributed using Trojans downloaded from exploit pages as well as corrupt shareware.

Once the virus is in the system, you will be displayed with a scary message shown on a with "camera" window each time you turn on your computer. This ransomware disables the rest of your programs therefore your PC does not respond to any of your commands. No matter how convincing the message of this virus looks like, do not pay the fine. It will only encourage more of similar viruses to be distributed and definitely will not unblock your system. If you already paid the fine and read this article after your money is spent, contact your credit card company as soon as possible and dispute the charges. Note, none of official governmental institutions accept payments using prepaid payment system. Once you see such a payment option this should be a first sign for you that something is wrong and you are looking at a scam.

To unblock your computer you will need to do some work manually. First of all restart your computer in a safe mode or safe mode with networking. Then run MSConfig. After it is finished, disable all startup entries. You can identify malicious entries easily as they will reference a file from your user folder. Restart your computer one more time. This time it should not be blocked anymore. Do not forget to perform a full system scan of your PC.

Metcalfe's Law - Network Marketing Training

There are few business opportunities today that allow the average individual the power of Metcalfe's Law except Network Marketing. The theory of computer network growth, Metcalfe's Law states that the economic value of a network grows as the square of the number of its users increase. Metcalfe's Law is often cited as an explanation for the rapid growth of the Internet today and can be used to explain the rising wave of information technology that we are riding in the 21st Century. However, even with this knowledge, it can be difficult to convince others of Network Marketing's power due to its virtual cyber status.

The average person's view of Network Marketing or MLM could still be that of a pyramid--far from what Network Marketing truly is and an important subject to address in your Network Marketing Training.

As a Networker who desires success and all the benefits of the industry, your first job is to duplicate yourself. The almost magical results of a good compensation plan begin with you cloning yourself and your efforts with another person. This is when you will start to see the power of duplication and grow exponentially experiencing firsthand Metcalfe's Law.

Robert Metcalfe co-invented the Ethernet in 1973 and is credited for defining Metcalfe's Law in 1980. Metcalfe's Law definition is a Network's Economic Value = Number of Users, squared. For example, Facebook with only one registered user was essentially useless. When 100 users signed up, however, it became more attractive and beneficial for each individual user. Then, when a 1,000 people opted in, it became even better. Facebook is literally a story of the "more the merrier" as the site becomes more useful, enjoyable, and valuable.

Using the Power of Metcalfe's Law not only as a tool to define the industry's business model, but to also show how one's efforts can be exponentially multiplied, is a smart strategy that your prospects can relate to and understand in your Network Marketing Training. This will also better explain how that first commission of $2.34 that you earned in your first month with Amway grew into a residual check of $1,000s of dollars - each and every month.

Reverse Email Look-Up Investigations Can Help Texas Victims of Cyber Stalking

Cyber stalking has become a serious problem for quite a few residents of the state of Texas. What makes it even worse is as more people begin using home computer systems, the issue ends up affecting even more people. It is quite shocking to find out just how many people there really are that carry out the act of stalking innocent targets on the Internet. Not only is this an issue that affects numerous men and women, but there are also a large amount of teenagers and even younger kids that get caught up in the vicious web created by a cyber-stalker. Although many of these people feel as if there's no way to stop the constant emails containing threats of harassment a cyber-stalker is sending them, a reverse email look-up search can quickly reveal the person behind the threats.

The information that can be gained from this effective investigation provides victims of cyber-stalkers with everything needed to file charges with their local law enforcement agency. Under the Texas State Penal Code Sec. 42.07, it clearly states that any type of harassment that is done on an electronic device such as a computer system is a serious crime. A reverse email look-up investigation is the very tool that can help harassed victims see that cyber-stalkers are held accountable for the wrong-doings they choose to participate in.

When cyber stalking becomes an issue that you or one of your family members faces, it is extremely important to notify the authorities. This is simply because the frightening emails threatening bodily harm that you are receiving could very easily turn into a real life nightmare. The next step should be to consult a leading professional that knows everything there is to know about a reverse email look-up search. The expense that is involved with this search is very reasonable, and it only takes a short amount of time to receive detailed results.

The information that victims of cyber-stalking receive through a reverse email look-up investigation can actually help law enforcement officers in a lot of situations. This kind of search is so effective that it can easily identify the cyber-stalker who has been causing you a large amount of fright. In a majority of cases it will also reveal the address where they reside, their phone number, employment information, and a wide range of other very helpful details that can ensure the harassment you're going through is stopped.

Copyright (c) 2011 Opperman Investigations Inc

Cyber Bullies And Your Child

If you are noticing changes in behavior, social interaction and moods of your child or teen; alarms should be sounding in your head. Parents tend to think the worst, especially when kids are uncommunicative about their friends, activities etc. Every parent's worst nightmare is that their kids are into drugs, but that's not the only issue facing youngsters today. Your child may have a problem with cyber bullies. Cyber bullies are peers and other young people who harass their victims through text or email messages and social media sites. Your child may be distraught over this maltreatment and feels helpless to stop or remedy the problem. That's where you come in.

Once you have identified that your child is being victimized, you can help to stop it. The main thing you want to communicate to your child is that you are there to help and protect him/her and that you can stop cyber bullies from harassing your child. Let your young person know that you are out to stop these kind of people, and that he/she does not have to be a victim of bullying behavior. Having an authority figure such as a parent or teacher is empowering to young people, and will allow them to take the necessary steps to stand up to cyber bullies and to stop these vandal from harassing them.

Teach your kids that the cyber bullies are the ones with the problem, and that even though they have been singled out, they are not at fault. Help your child to set privacy settings and report them to email carriers and social networks for abuse. If need be, you can get your teen a new email address and phone number with strict privacy settings so that cyber bullies cannot harass them through text messages and email. Go to school authorities and make sure that you notify them to help stop them from victimizing other by identifying them at school and with law enforcement. Cyber bullies should not be allowed to get away with this damaging behavior. Setting an example of them at school is a good way to deter them from this type of behavior in the future. Communication with your child is the main key to keep them safe online. Your young person must know they can trust and confide in you and rely upon you to help them deal with and stop cyber bullies from making them or others a victim of their malice.

Cyber-Bullying Goes Federal & MySpace Fakery Could Be a Crime

In a highly unusual use of a federal law in which legal experts describe as "creative" and "aggressive," a St. Louis, Missouri woman has been indicted in what may be the country's first case of cyber-bullying. Federal prosecutors say Lori Drew, 49, and others created an account on the social networking site MySpace pretending to be a 16-year-old boy to fool her neighbor, 13-year-old Megan Meier.

According to prosecutors, Drew used the MySpace account to establish a relationship with Meier, acting for weeks to be a boy interested in forming a romantic relationship her. A short time later, Drew suddenly ended the relationship, taunting Meier and telling her the world would be better off without her. Consequently, a distraught Meier committed suicide by hanging herself.

Drew is Arrested and Charged with a Crime

The federal indictment, which was delivered in Los Angeles after state prosecutors in Missouri declined to bring charges, is unprecedented, and legal commentators believe it may seriously stretch the federal statute on which it was based. The indictment charged that in violation of MySpace terms of service, "Drew and co-conspirators knowingly and agreed with each other to intentionally access a computer ... to further a tortious act, namely, intentional infliction of emotion distress." According to the prosecution, Drew violated MySpace's terms by using a fictitious name, among other things, and thus had no authority to access the MySpace service.

"This adult woman allegedly used the Internet to target a young teenage girl, with horrendous ramifications," said United States Attorney Thomas O'Brien. "Any adult who uses the Internet or a social-gathering website to harass or bully another person, particularly a young girl, must realize their actions can have serious consequences."

The Unprecedented Charges may Create a New Realm of Cases

The case presents a new wrinkle in the interpretation of federal law. Legal experts warned that such an interpretation could criminalize routine behavior on the internet. After all, people regularly create accounts or post information under aliases for many legitimate reasons, including avoiding spam and a desire to maintain their privacy online.

This new interpretation also gives a business contract the force of a law: violations of a web site's terms of service could now lead to criminal sanctions, instead of just civil lawsuits or ejection from a site.

"I think the danger of applying a statute in this way is that it could have unintended consequences," said John Palfrey, a Harvard law professor. "An application of a general statute like this might result in chilling a great deal of online speech and other freedom." Drew is scheduled to be arraigned in St. Louis but the trial will be held in Los Angeles were MySpace is headquartered. If convicted of the charges, Drew faces up to 20 years in prison.

Can a Cyber Hacker Group, Malware Team, or Internet Virus Spreader Just Disband and Quit?

Malicious and show-off style hacking is questioning the trust of online communication, identity privacy, and e-commerce. Governments, Corporations, Militaries, HGOs, and citizens alike are worried - as well they should. It seems sometimes there is no safe computer system anywhere in the world, even as the world moves to securers cloud data-centers. As the authorities hunt down the hackers and catch some, there appear to be plenty more to take their place, and plenty of ISPs to hide behind or use in their tricks.

So far, looking at the score board, it looks as if the hackers, cyber terrorists, and rogue nation cyber-commands are winning, while the users, IT departments, corporations, and governments are losing. Yes, the hackers have put egg on the faces of some of the top computer security firms, and made them look silly, incompetent, and unable to secure their systems. There was an interesting article in the mainstream media, and on MSNBC discussing how the Lulz Sec Hacker Group called it quits and disbanded.

The article in MSNBC website titled; "Hacker group LulzSec says it's done - 50 days of cyber capers included breaches of PBS, Arizona, Sony, FBI partners," was quite enlightening and discusses this major turn of events stating;

"The group has stolen mountains of personal data in a dozen of attacks, embarrassing law enforcement globally while boasting about the stunts online. The group's disbandment comes unexpectedly, & is a sign that law enforcement investigations are closing in. Rival hackers have joined in the hunt, releasing information which could point to the six-member group. One of the group's six members was interviewed by The AP on Friday, and gave no indication that its work was ending."

Can hacker groups just quit like that, and the problem is over, yes, perhaps, and why not, they've won and it is obvious they have their bragging rights. But can a hacker who does it for the sport, loves it, and enjoys the adrenalin rush actually quit and never hack again? That, I wonder, I'd say probably not. But, they might go into computer security and teach the authorities a thing or two. It would be nice if they joined the other side, rather than disrupting the confidence in the Internet.

Of course, then someone else would come along if and replace them if they were not hacking. Okay so, I guess we need a safer and more reliable internet and until we get that we are not going to have the level or trust in the system we need to keep the flow of information and electronic commerce going. Please consider all this and think on it.

Cyber Crime

Everyone who works on a computer must be familiar with the term "Cyber Crime". Initially, when man invented computer and then the technology for communicating between computers was evolved, he would have never thought that the cyber space he is creating could be flooded with any crime i.e. cyber crime. But now almost all of us might have heard the term computer crime, cyber crime, e-crime, hi-tech crime or electronic crime which is nothing but an activity done with a criminal intent in cyber space. Simply put, it is an activity which is generally criminal in nature, where a computer or network is the source, tool, target, or place of a crime. To say in one line, "Cyber crime refers to all the activities done with criminal intent in cyberspace."

Such crime involves an information technology infrastructure, including illegal access (unauthorized access), illegal interception (by technical means of non-public transmissions of computer data to, from or within a computer system), data interference (unauthorized damaging, deletion, deterioration, alteration or suppression of computer data), systems interference (interfering with the functioning of a computer system by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data), misuse of devices, forgery (ID theft), and electronic fraud.

This article intends to give an overview of Cyber Crimes since in e-life (of which we all are a part of) conventional crimes like extortion, forgery etc. are being done with the help of computers; which most of us are using for online monetary transactions.

In today's e-Age, 'Crime' has extended itself beyond physical assault or mental torture; now it also affects our e-life. E-Life means our existence & living in the cyber world. Every one of us is a part of this cyber world, directly or indirectly, since computers & internet are now an integral part of our personal & professional life. Just like any other invention, Computers & Internet are a boon to human kind if used in a right way and to the advantage of the society. However, as we all know, everything has its pros and cons and so computers & internet are not an exception. If we consider 'Cyber Crime' as virus then it won't be untrue to say this virus is corrupting man's significant development (computers and internet) which is responsible for developing civilized society for men. Cyber Crime is a menace all over the world and is the one of the most difficult & challenging to detect & investigate. You will find it interesting to note that even the official website of the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell of Crime Branch Mumbai quotes "The invisible criminal is dangerous than the visible one".

You may be wondering why one should know about Cyber Crime?

Most of us are using internet and computers for online transactions where we transmit personal information and possibly do monetary transactions. If your personal information goes in wrong hands and you become bankrupt or you start receiving absurd mails or your e-mail account gets flooded with unwanted mails; means you have become a victim of Cyber Crime.

Cyber Crime has various forms which may include hacking (illegal intrusion into a computer system without the permission of owner), phishing (pulling out the confidential information from the bank / financial institutional account holders by deceptive means), spoofing (getting one computer on a network to pretend to have the identity of another computer in order to gain access to the network), cyber stalking (following the victim by sending e-mails or entering the chat rooms frequently), cyber defamation (sending e-mails to all concerned / posting on website the text containing defamatory matters about the victim), threatening (sending threatening e-mails to victim), salami attacks (making insignificant changes which go unnoticed by the victim), net extortion, pornography (transmitting lascivious material), software piracy (illegal copying of the genuine software / programs), email bombing, virus dissemination (sending malicious software which attaches itself to other software), IPR theft, identity theft, data theft, etc.

Hacking, destroying files and data through spreading virus are the largest number of offences in the cyber world.

"Russia, China and Brazil are world leaders in cyber crime. India is fast emerging as a major hub of cyber crime, however our legal system is already in place to tackle this menace of cyber crime and to control it and punish the guilty. Cyber Crime, which we may define as "an unlawful act wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or incidental to the crime", has both civil as well as criminal remedies.

So let's talk about the remedies available against such crimes. In India, the offence of Cyber Crime is covered under Information Technology Act 2000 and under the Indian Penal Code.

Cyber Crime Cells have been established by law in major cities. These Cells function directly under the Commissioner of Police of respective cities. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) already has a cyber crime wing operational since 1999.

The Government has established "The Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal" under the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Tribunal has the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court for requiring the discovery and production of documents, receiving evidence on affidavits. But the decisions of the Tribunal can be contested by the High Court. The Information Technology Act not only applies to the offence committed in India, but it can also be used to bring offenders from foreign countries to India for trial.

Powers of Cyber Crime Cells:

Any police officer, not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, or any other officer of the Central Government or a State Government authorised by the Central Government in this behalf may enter any public place and search and arrest without warrant any person found therein who is reasonably suspected or having committed or of committing or of being about to commit any offence under this Act.

Punishment for Cyber Crime:

A person found guilty of cyber crime shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.

Salient features of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008:

The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 was enacted in October 2009.

The term "digital signature" has been replaced with "electronic signature" to make the Act more technology neutral. A new section has been inserted to define "communication device" to mean cell phones, personal digital assistance or combination of both or any other device used to communicate, send or transmit any text video, audio or image. A new section has been added to define "cyber café" as any facility from where the access to the internet is offered by any person in the ordinary course of business to the members of the public.

There is an addition of several new offences into the Act. Section 66 has now been expanded to include sections 66A, (offensive messages) 66B, (Receiving stolen computer) 66C, (Identity theft), 66D (Impersonation), 66E (Voyeurism) and 66 F (Cyber Terrorism). Section 67 has been expanded to include Sections 67A (Sexually explicit content), 67 B (Child Pornography),

In short about Cyber Terrorism:

Cyber terrorism is the premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives, or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.

Cyber terrorism can have a serious large-scale influence on significant numbers of people. It can weaken countries' economy greatly, thereby stripping it of its resources and making it more vulnerable to military attack.

Computer and Technology Crimes

Computer crimes, also known as cyber crimes, can be described as any criminal act that involves dealing with computers and internet networks. There are various types of cyber crimes committed by criminals.

Here are some of the different types of cyber crimes:

1. Back Door: This type of computer crime is useful during software piracy. It is possible to access commercially provided software packages only through procedures that are secret and hard-coded. However, back doors can be created and inserted into existing programs so as to gain unauthorized access to the software.

2. Data Diddling: This type of cyber crime can be explained as an act of modifying data from a computer system with the objective of either having fun or gaining profit. Some examples include modifying school grades, changing credit rating, altering security clearance information or circumventing audit regulations.

3. Sabotage: This computer crime is committed with a deliberate intention of damaging operation or the equipment.

4. Data Leakage: This can be explained as unauthorized leakage of confidential information present in a computer system. One can accomplish this crime either physically through different kinds of storage devices or by means of network through a process known as hacking.

5. Impersonation: Every secured site needs an authorization code to gain access, Impersonation is a cyber crime that involves gaining access to a secured site by means of pretending to be an authorized used.

6. Logic Bomb: These are special programs written by software programmers with the intention of committing a crime. These programs work in the same way as a time bomb. However, they need a logic in order to trigger and explosion. A logic bomb is a type of Trojan that can damage the entire data present in a system.

Cyber Overload: A Look at Internet Addiction

When you stop and think about it, it really is amazing just how big a role the internet plays in our daily lives. In fact, it can safely be said that those under the age of 25 probably can't envision a world without the internet. Research has confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the internet; a 2010 study from Forrester Research found that, for the first time, consumers spent as much on the internet as watching TV. Another report found that Americans aged 13-24 actually spent more time on the internet (16.7 hours per week) than watching television (13.6 hours).

Given the internet's meteoric rise over the past two decades, it perhaps isn't surprising that some people develop a literal addiction to this worldwide, interconnected network. Below are some examples of the health risks of spending far too much time online:

  • In 2005, a 28 year-old South Korean man died after spending a stunning 50 straight hours playing an online game.
  • An even more incredible case of internet addiction also comes from South Korea. In 2002, one gamer spent an unfathomable 86 straight hours playing an online game, a dubious streak that wound up claiming his life.
  • A 20 year-old English man suffered a fatal blood clot after a 12 hour online gaming session.

Granted, these are extreme cases, but it appears that more health professionals are prepared to classify "internet addiction" as a mental health condition. In late 2012, several news stories reported that the American Psychiatric Association was considering adding "Internet Use Disorder" in its latest revision of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders. According to the New York Post, the entry for Internet Use Disorder would feature the following symptoms:

  • Preoccupation with online gambling and a need to spend more time wagering via the Internet.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when computer use is denied.
  • Continued excessive Internet use by an individual, even if he or she knows how dangerous the problem has become.
  • Lying to shrinks and loved ones about excessive Internet use and online gambling.
  • Losing interest in other forms of entertainment and hobbies.

The potential inclusion of Internet Use Disorder raises a disconcerting question - with an estimated 282 million Americans using the internet in 2012, exactly how many users would qualify as addicts? Some sources claim that the number might be quite large; the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery suggests that as many as 1 in 8 Americans might struggle with some form of internet dependency (the same organization also reports that the number might be as high as 30 percent in several Asian countries, like South Korea, China and Taiwan).

The "Shutdown" Law

You've probably noticed that South Korean internet users keep appearing in this article. There is good reason for this, as the country appears to have a large population of hardcore online gamers. The South Korean government has noticed this trend as well, to the point that a new law was issued in 2011 aimed at curbing internet overuse.

The Shutdown law prevents children under the age of 16 from playing online games between the hours of 12AM and 6AM. In theory, this will force intense adolescent gamers to get some badly needed sleep. In practice, the gamers might turn out to be one step ahead of the government. A significant number of teenage players have been able to illegally hijack their parents' online identities, allowing them to circumvent the law. In response to this development, the South Korean government is pressuring gaming companies to turn over personal information about young gamers, including social security numbers and phone numbers.

While internet users in the United States typically don't have the insatiable online appetite found in many South Koreans, research indicates that Americans have become heavily attached to modern technology. A 2010 University of Maryland study examined the impact of heavy internet and cell phone use on college students. The participants were barred from using every type of media for 24 hours - in other words, they couldn't use their cell phones, surf the internet or watch TV for an entire day.

The results of the study did not paint a pretty picture; many students reported feeling withdrawal symptoms after just one day without modern media channels. Students who were used to sending text messages throughout the day, for instance, felt as if they had been somehow separated from friends and family. A large number of participants made the same claim regarding e-mails and social networking sites, stating that they felt alone and isolated without access to these mediums.

As technology continues to evolve, the issue of internet addiction will doubtlessly receive further attention from researchers. As it currently stands, is term "Internet Use Disorder" is vaguely defined, as is still being evaluated by the American Psychiatric Association. In the meantime, you can prevent yourself from becoming too attached to the internet by using the proceeding guidelines:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend online each day.
  • If you find yourself spending endless hours on the internet, install a "shutdown timer" on your desktop, which will automatically turn off your computer after a predetermined amount of time. These timers can be found through a simple search engine query.
  • Make plans with your friends and acquaintances to hang out at various places, such as malls and bowling alleys.
  • Instead of using instant messages, opt for making phone calls.
  • Keep a log of all the sites you visit, and the length of time you visit them. Record your emotions when you looking out these sites; this will allow you to determine if you're using the internet to deal with stress and/or boredom. If this is indeed the case, use other activities to occupy your time, such as learning a new hobby or exercising.

The Effect of Internet on Modern Day Businesses

Internet is one technology that has revolutionized every aspect of modern day living. There is no sphere of life where internet has not spread its tentacles. From being a medium of communication, it has turned into an information warehouse, entertainment hub and an enormous virtual market. As the online services continues to grow, so does its presence and impact on the everyday life of millions of individuals across the globe.

Business is perhaps the one sphere that has been affected by the growth of World Wide Web to the maximum. The development and growth of e-commerce has brought numerous products direct into the homes of the customers. Irrespective of how small or big it is, every business tries to get a unique place for itself in the cyber world. This is done through individual websites, online promotion of products ad various other methods.

The developments in internet have made it possible for people to buy and sell a wide range of products with just a few mouse clicks. It has almost neutralized the distances that made it quite difficult for people in one part of the globe to learn about and purchase the products manufactured in another part of the globe. In the cyber world, there are no restrictions of time and which makes it possible for a client sitting in Asia to purchase a product or sell a sample to someone located in USA.

In addition, the new cyber laws and security measures have resulted in creating a safer cyber market where people don't have to worry about being duped of their hard earned money. Online transactions have become much more secure and businesses are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that any personal information about their clients continues to remain a secret and is not misused by any other person in any manner.

The unparalleled growth of online services has allowed businesses to grow in manner that was never anticipated. As the net continues to come up with new technologies, new avenues are constantly opening up for further growth and expansion of businesses. With new e-commerce policies and latest technologies, doing business on the net will be child's play.Internet blog reviews have made it possible for people to get updated information on internet services.

Cyber Bullying Prevention: It's Everyone's Responsibility

Teenagers spend most of their time these days on their cell phones, texting, instant messaging, uploading photos, using social networking sites like Facebook and generally spending a large portion of their life online. Unfortunately, bullying has also jumped online. It's called cyber or internet bullying and its prevalence rivals traditional school yard bullying.

Cyber bulling occurs when someone posts rumors, secrets, threats, private photos or any other material intended to hurt, embarrass or harass another person online. It's estimated that cyber bulling affects nearly half of all teenagers and its reach is increasing every year.

Girl bullies in particular use the internet to bully their victims. Girls generally bully to increase their social status, to demean or belittle rivals or to exclude others from a group. Because girls don't generally bully in a physical manner, cyberspace is a perfect outlet for their bullying. Rumors and secrets can spread like wildfire and they can accomplish their purpose quickly.

Cyber bullies can actually be victims of physical or schoolyard bullying themselves. They seek revenge through internet bullying because they can be anonymous and cyberspace does not require physical strength. They can seek this revenge with little in the way of repercussions.

Victims of cyber bullying find themselves feeling scared, hurt, embarrassed and angry. They feel helpless to defend themselves because they don't generally know who the bully is. In particularly heinous cases cyberbullying can damage the victim's psyche leaving them in a suicidal state.

Cyber bullying prevention starts with reporting of the incident -either to school officials or if the bullying involves threats or any other illegal activity to law enforcement. Although cyberbullies believe that they are anonymous, they really aren't. Everyone leaves a digital footprint in cyberspace and they can be found.

Cyber bullying has become an epidemic and it's everyone's responsibility to do their part in preventing it. With teens spending a large portion of their time online, schoolyard bullying is no longer the only problem.

Family Guide to Stopping Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a growing problem among children and teens. Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Here a our top tips for families to stop cyber bullying.

1. Tell an Adult

Children should not be afraid to tell a parent, teacher or police if they are or have been cyber bullied. It is important for child to feel comfortable to report any messages that are harassing or threatening.

2. Anti Bullying Program

Many schools already have anti-bullying programs in place but if your school does not, parents should insist that one be implemented. Anti-Bullying programs provide children with a safe environment and knowledge on what to do if they ever encounter a bully. Programs address all types of bullying and solutions.

3. Laws & Enforcement

If your school does not already have a relationship with local law agencies it should consider building a relationship. Law Agencies can help enforce cyberbullying.

4. Parent Awareness

Parents should be on the lookout for signs that their child is being cyber bullied. Signs of cyberbullying include but are not limited to not wanting to go to school, acting depressed, having nightmares or lost interest in computers.

5. Bullying Awareness

Parents must communicate with their children about bullying and cyberbullying. Parents should also encourage their children to communicate back if they are ever bullied themselves.

6. Computer Time

Parents may not be able to monitor all their children's internet activity but it may be helpful to keep computers used by children in common areas of the home.

7. Save Evidence

If your child is being bullied it is extremely important to save all internet activity which includes, emails, chats, instant messages and web pages sent or posted by bullies. This information can be used as evidence against the bully.

8. Don't Respond to Bullies

It is our natural reaction to respond to a bully but parents should educate their children not to respond to bullies. Parents should explain to their children how important it is not to reply back to a bully. If a child responds back with a threat it can be used against them.

9. Private Information

Parents should educate their children not to give out any private information when online. This information includes, full names, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, etc. Kids should not post anything they would not want to be made public.

10. File Complaint

Parents should file complaints with the internet service provider or website if their child is being bullied. Cyber bullying is against most services "terms of use" and violaters can be prosecuted in some instances.

What You Have to Know About Adult Web Hosting

The internet is a huge network of information and there are a certain cyber laws to what you can display on websites. An adult content website is no longer a new thing in the internet. As long as the website abides all cyber laws, there is no problem having it online.

To begin with, an adult content website will need a web hosting company that allows adult content in their server. Then you have to think about the usual requirements for websites like bandwidth and disk space to enable you to build the ideal design for your website.

Technically speaking, an adult content website is just as same as a normal website. However, it does require more demand on the resource that it requires.

You will definitely need more bandwidth because this type of website will have more images and videos. Therefore, you need the bandwidth to handle the uploading and downloading of data that come in and out from your website.

Secondly, there is the disk space issue. A website that is based on adult content will definitely need more disk space. The reason is similar to the bandwidth because you will need more space to store images and videos. Therefore, there is no question that disk space is an important area when you choose your web hosting company.

So, an adult content website definitely needs certain of flexibility. So, we can assume that this type of website can be well suite with dedicated hosting. This is because dedicated hosting has great flexibility and security. This is very important because you will be able to keep the private data of your customers. This type of hosting will have everything ready like the internet connection, technical support, bandwidth, space and so on. The maintenance is also taken care of by the provider. So, using this hosting will give your more freedom to concentrate on other stuff.

To conclude, an adult website really depends on the reliability and security of the web provider and if you have that in place, nothing major will go wrong.

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Affiliate Programs - How to Use Them More Effectively!

Marketing Affiliate Programs is the perfect way to make money online, if you are deliberating how to make money with your own business. There are a number of fair and foul ways to earn money on the internet, and this is one of the safest ways to make money online. You can make money easily without breaking any cyber laws.

You can make money with these programs easily by choosing the right company. You don't really need any big amount of money to get into this business. Instead you just need to have a computer and a website.

These programs are the online marketing programs aimed at generating traffic to internet business sites. These online marketing programs offer you one of the most lucrative business opportunities online.

Promoting other people's products is termed affiliate marketing, which means selling through commissioned sales people. These programs are also termed associate programs, partner plans, 2-tier plans, referral plans, and pay-per-click plans.

Online business owners advertise their associate programs and you join one of the advertised programs. You then become an affiliate of this program. After becoming affiliate, you place referral links directed to the business site that runs the program

If a visitor on your site clicks on the referral link, he is automatically directed to the business site, and if a purchase is made you get the commission from the business owner. This is how you make money by marketing other business owner's product as an affiliate.

Affiliates direct traffic to the business site that runs these programs. As an affiliate, you work as the tool for generating traffic for the site of affiliate program operator. You make money by selling and earning commissions on each and every sale that occurs through your site. But, you don't get any commission, if sales do not occur.

You do nothing wrong or unethical or commit any cyber crime directing traffic to your affiliate program site. This is online marketing It's 100 % legal. You just play the role of a shrewd business marketer. You just send customers to your business affiliate's site to generate business sales, and get commission on every single sale. This is absolutely ethical.

Once there is demand for the product, the program can really be great money spinning machine for you. Furthermore, you can join as many programs as you can handle. If all your ventures start paying off, they can really be a great source of permanent income. Hence, it is really important for you to seek out and join the good ones.

Now the important point is how to pick the best paying programs; There are numerous wide ranges of these programs online, and you need to pick the ones that are potentially lucrative. You must do the research online to find these potential jackpots. After considering various factors, such as products or services, quality of products or services, etc., you can choose the program that you feel is right for you.

You should go for the products or services that people are buying so that you will make sales. Remember, you only make money when sales occur through your site. Thus you should go for the products or services that are in demand. So, promote right and make money with affiliate programs.

Computer Forensics

Data erased deliberately or unexpectedly can be retrieved with the aid of data retrieval specialists. Computer forensics is helpful in identifying the root cause of the lost data or information.

Computer Forensics can be defined in many ways. Most commonly, it is a specialist aid that delves into detailed analysis of computers in order to execute the necessary tasks. It carries out the exploration of the retained and preserved data of the computer, identifies any damage that might have occurred to the computer and the root cause of the damage. The enquiry process begins right from scratch and goes further into the intricate elements of the computer's operating system.

Computer forensic is a much wider conception and theory which investigates the transgressions upon computers by virus or cyber criminals. Several acts have been brought into force in order to monitor the criminal activities; yet there are a lot more that still exist. It is very difficult to uncover such activities due to lack of enough proof or substantiation. All these complex situations can be controlled with the assistance of them.

The key dictum of computer forensic specialists is to not simply find the illicit but to also find the facts and evidences. The arrangement of the substantiation is done in a manner that leads the criminal to face legal action.

Some Of The Illegal And Scandalous Activities In Computers Are:

* Unofficial utilization of computers by pilfering usernames and passwords.
* Contacting the victim computers through the internet.
* Broadcasting a malevolent computer program that is a virus.
* Pestering and stalking in cyberspace.
* E-mail scam.
* Stealing official documents.

Network forensics or Computer Forensics makes it easy for the controlled, structured and cautious detection of offence and misuse cases. They specialists should possess adequate knowledge of data retrieval software as well as hardware technicalities and should have the skill and experience to execute the job.

US-China Legal Exchange Provides Valuable Perspective on State of E-Commerce in Both Countries

The 17th U.S.-China Legal Exchange, a joint US Department of Commerce ("DOC") and PRC Ministry of Commerce ("MofCom") program, was held August 27-31 with workshops held in Harbin, Beijing and Guiyang focusing on recent developments in intellectual property rights enforcement and e-commerce issues. I had the privilege of being part of the governmental and private U.S. delegation head up by Department of Commerce General Counsel Cameron Kerry.

The exchange offered some important insights into the state of e-commerce in both countries. In my presentations, I spoke of the evolution of U.S. regulation of the internet as moving from a frontier society approach, where regulation was adopted by consensus and initially focuses on measures designed to ensure e-commerce's viability so that consumers felt safe to shop online, to the current state where the number of actors and the complexity of issues involved has increased substantially and consensus is elusive. During this tour of China, Chinese media was abuzz with a price war between leading online players that left some consumers concerned whether the prices would be honored, This demonstrated that China, who soon will overtake the United States as the largest e-commerce market, was still in the "frontier phase" of internet regulation as internet penetration and trust in e-commerce takes root in China.

The process of explaining the history of U.S. regulation of e-commerce on foreign soil, was a reminder of the success of the "light touch" approach to regulation that has been applied to the internet to date. In addition, where regulators have acted they have been wise to focus on the conduct of the parties and not the technological platforms used since the internet makes both good and evil more efficient, a point I emphasized to the Chinese audience.

My presentation also touched on emerging legal issues such as crowdfunding, consumer privacy and cyber smearing. In concluding, I stated that it had been an honor to discuss this exciting new age where the vast ocean that has separated us for centuries can be navigated in seconds with the click of a mouse.

I believe that the internet is and will continue to transform China. For example, while there is much discussion about the Great Firewall used by the Chinese government, that merely captures the tip of the iceberg thus leaving untouched a great mass of discussion and debate occurring in social media and elsewhere on the internet at levels unprecedented in Chinese history.

The Importance of Cyber Surveillance - Technologies for Cyber Defense

The Department of Defense is constantly discussing how to upgrade their cyber defense technology. The Pentagon is concerned with the implications of a weak cyber system that could be exposed to cyber threats from America's enemies. The DOD wants greater cooperation with industry and government in safeguarding U.S. cyberspace. The Pentagon and DOD will meet with big time internet companies like Google and Intel to work out the best strategies to expand in the cyber industry and tackle key issues. The leaders of defense know the importance of expansion into the private sector for help in implementing cyber security and finding effective policies to regulate that area.

There would be a vast impact on individual liberty though the government maintaining surveillance in cyber systems. Many privacy issues would come about such as access to information. The government would have access to individual preferences such as someone's credit card numbers, airline, hotel, or restaurant reservations. They would know the websites the public visits and much more. However the main benefits for the public would be more effective tactics to eliminate crime and enforce laws.

There are many examples of how surveillance technology has been used. The Air Force Special Investigations Unit and the police force use this technology to track and investigate crime. They use many types of systems combined with cyber space technology such as visual, audio-visual, computer, and tracking surveillance. These types of surveillance are seen in the public a lot such as stores and public transportation. Many companies use them and there has been an increase by companies to make use of surveillance technologies in vehicles, service tags, human beings, and to track objects. These types of surveillance are becoming outdated as people are becoming more and more adept to computer systems.

Foreign countries such as China rely on cyber surveillance technologies to tighten the usage of the internet. They constantly make use of web censorship and block major private networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Government officials routinely monitor individuals and their internet behavior. The police argue that their criminal investigations work more efficiently because they can use the interne to control blackmail, gambling, and stop the spread of viruses and important computer information.

The negative side of cyber surveillance is that it could be used to monitor people and come into contact with legal issues. Managers could use cyber technology to monitor employees. Supervisors will be capable of spying for any intended purpose. New contracts will have to be implemented to get approved. There other concerns with cyber technology such as ethical and social concerns.

Five Critical Things to Add to Your Monthly Newsletter

So - as you know I am a newsletter evangelist! I believe it is the NUMBER ONE thing that will help you create a career in the music industry. Communicating with your fan base regularly and consistently. If you do not already have a schedule mapped out for sending your newsletters - get your calendar out NOW and pencil in 12 dates - 1X per month (I suggest you send your newsletter 2X per month but start with once a month and grow from there). Studies show that the best days to send newsletters (for the highest open rates) are Tuesdays and Wednesdays so make sure to send them out mid week.

Here are 5 critical things to keep in mind as you are crafting your newsletters:

1. Keep Your Subject Line to 55 Characters
Most e-mail programs cut off the subject line after 55 and 60 characters, so keep your subject line short and sweet, and to the point; five to six words max.

2. Get Personal
Saying something personal brings you closer to your fan base. So share a photo of something you love (your pet, your kids, your friends), or something fun and non-music related you did recently like a vacation.

3. You Don't Have To Have A Show To Send A Newsletter
How about just inviting everyone on your newsletter out for drinks evening, or to join you for a show, or share something fun that you've done recently; again, or maybe you just purchased a new album and you love it, and you want to talk about it.

4. Mailing Address & Unsubscribe Link
Know that by law you need to put your mailing address and an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each of your newsletters. If you are uncomfortable adding your home address, then open up a P.O. Box and use that.

5. First Names Get Attention
Use their name. The best way to get anyone's attention is to include their first name in the subject line of an e-mail, something like this:

"Hey Kevin! Summer News From the Darrin James Band."

It's catchy, and it gets people's attention immediately to the subject of your e-mail. Bandletter can help you customize your e-mails so that your first names of your e-mail list appear in the subject line. Testing shows that the response rates will go up 50%-70% or more if you include first names.

Child Internet Safety

LOL, BRB and other acronyms are those that are commonly use in chatrooms, emails and other types of internet communications. Minors have their own way of speaking online when a parent is in the room if they don't want the adults to know their conversations. These acronyms often throw parents off in confusion and they don't bother to learn what their child has been talking about to friends (or strangers) online. Here are some commonly used acronyms that you might find your child typing during online conversations.

AAMOF=As A Matter of Fact
ABFL=A big fat lady
ADN=Any day now
AFAIC=As far as I'm concerned
AFAICT=As far as I can tell
AFAICS=As far as I can see
AFAIK=As far as I know
AFAYC=As far as youre concerned
AFK=away from keyboard
AISI=As I see it
AIUI=As I understand it
AML=All my love
ASL=Age, Sex Location
ATM=At the moment

B4N=Bye for now
BAC=Back at computer
BD=Big deal
BBIAB=Be back in a bit
BBL=Be back later
BBS=Be Back soon
BC=Be cool
B/F=boyfriend G/F=girlfriend
BOL=Be on later
BST=But seriously though
BTA=But then again
BTDT=Been there done that
BTW=By the way
BRH=Be right here
BRT=Be right there

CD9=Code 9: Parents are around
CYA=See ya
DGA=Dont go anywhere
EME=Email address
F2F=face to face
FYEO=For your eyes only
G2J=Got to jet
GAC=Get a clue G
RTG=Getting ready to go
GTTU=Good talking to you
GFN=Gone for now
GTSY=Good to see you

H/O=Hold on
HAGD=Have a good day
HAGN=Have a good night
HAK=Hug and kiss
HB=Hurry back
HLM=He loves me
HSWM=Have sex with me
IDK=I dont know
ILU=I love you
IMHO=Im my humble opinion
IOW=In other words
IRL=In real life
IMS=Im sorry

JK=Just kidding
KB=Kiss back

KOTL=Kiss on the lips
JAS=Just a second
l8tr=See you later
LOL=Laugh out loud
LYL=Love you lots
M/F=Male or female
MUSM=Miss you so much
NAZ=Name, address, zip
OTW=On the way

PAW=Parents are watching
PM=Private Message
POS=Parents over shoulder
P911=Parent emergency
S2R=Send to receive
SH=So hot
TY=Thank you
TOY=Thinking of you
TPTB=The powers that be
TYVM=Thank you very much

UR= You are
W8=Wait WB=Welcome back
WBS=Write back soon
WTG=Way to go
WTGP=Want to go private
WYRN=Whats your real name
121=one to one
143=I love you 4

As you can see there are a ton of acronyms here that people use. There are many, many more that aren't listed here. It's extremely important to keep our kids safe from online child predators and recognizing these acronyms in your child's conversation may save their life.

Is It Possible To Identify an Anonymous Blogger?

Cyber bullies and stalkers get bolder all the time and many will now create full blown blogs and web sites to harass their victims. They'll use anonymous blogger formats like or to create use as a platform for their Internet terrorism. They may also create a web site using any anonymous domain proxy service to attack someone. They use these anonymous or proxy services in order to conceal their identity from their victims. But are they really untouchable? Is it impossible to locate or identify a cyber bully just because they use an anonymous proxy domain registration service or use a free anonymous blog service?

The simple answer is no. Anyone can be located or identified with a thorough enough investigation and with enough time and money anyone can be found. But you probably won't have any luck trying to do it on your own. You're going to need help from someone that has the training and experience to do this kind of investigation and unfortunately you're not going to find that kind of private investigator in the yellow pages. You're going to need a private investigator that specializes in Internet investigation and computer crimes. This kind of PI can take an email and trace it back to the owner. They can contact the web owner and obtain identifying information beyond the proxy registration. They can even contact anonymous blog sites and identify those bloggers.

The cyber bully may think they're clever and covering their tracks but the fact is that the more clever they think they are the more likely they are to be caught. A trained experienced investigator knows how to take advantage of the cyber bullies obsessive personality and use it against them. Setting up traps for the stalker to fall into and reveal themselves.

Once the private investigator has them identified the cyber bully he can document his findings in a report. That report can then be presented to your local police for further investigation and even an arrest if they feel the stalker has broken the laws. If the police feel that it is a civil matter you can hire a lawyer to send a cease and desist letter to the home of the stalker. Many times this will snap them back into reality when they see you know their real name and address and have taken serious steps to confront them in real life. However if that is not effective you can go to court and petition for a restraining order against your bully restraining them from contacting you over the Internet. If you can demonstrate they have violated that order the police will arrest them.Thus putting a stop to the cyber bully.

Is Your College Student Carelessly Inviting Identity Thieves and Predators?

In its annual report earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission announced that the most vulnerable targets of identity theft are 18-29-year olds. Likewise, the 2007 Identity Fraud Survey Report, released by Javelin Strategy & Research, uncovers similar findings: "Adult victims between the ages of 18 and 24 are least likely to take easy, but important, safeguards such as shredding documents and using antivirus software and firewalls, resulting in more than 5 percent of those surveyed falling victim."

And Stephen Knighten, a research associate for Javelin Strategy & Research, adds that residence hall life may increase a student's risk for identity theft: "Oftentimes, you're in a situation where you probably have a roommate and people coming in and out of your apartment … physical documents tend to sort of sit around, and there are more avenues of access with your roommates' friends and your friends."

The Internet Crimes Against Children program last year investigated 2,329 cases of enticement and of predators traveling to meet minors, and 252,000 cases of child pornography. Yet those numbers provide just a glimpse of the activity, since many local police forces are too small to investigate child porn.

"It's absolutely overwhelming," says Brad Russ, director of Internet Crimes Against Children's training and technical assistance program, which trains 1,000 officers each year. "The scope and the scale of the problem far exceeds our capacity." Intensifying the epidemic is that more than half the world has no laws dealing with child pornography.

And what are some of the other careless acts of college students that leave them vulnerable to identity theft? Here are a few of the ways they might be inviting predators, hackers, and other cybercriminals:

* They setup and use an unsecured wireless network. (Hackers love this because it makes their drive-by hacking that much easier. And not only is the student' information stolen, but the hacker may add software to turn the student's computer into a "zombie" computer thereby taking remote control of it. Hint: It only takes a few more moments to create a userid and password for an extra level of protection.)

* They use guests' computers in the business centers of hotels to enter their personal and/or financial information. (The newest trend for hackers is to hack into these computers so that can secretly record every keystroke and commit other crimes using the student's information. Hint: If you use courtesy computers at a hotel, make absolutely sure that you are on a safe and secured line. And, taking it a step further, do not enter any personal and financial information unless it is absolutely necessary and this is your only option. See the related story from ABC News' Good Morning America in the video below.)

* They inhabit social networking sites and let their younger siblings share the site with them. (While social networking sites, like MySpace, and many others, are extremely popular communities where young people innocently engage in countless hours of banal chatter and photo-sharing, unfortunately, these social networking sites have also become the hangouts for child predators, child pornographers, and other cybercriminals. Hint: Putting filtering and monitoring software on kids' computers provides some protection. Parents, use legitimate software to block Web sites and create a log of visited sites. As parents and guardians, you can monitor a child's activity from other computers and be notified of violations via E-mail or cell phone.)

* They quickly and without verifying identities add new "friends" to their instant messenger buddy lists. (While it is rewarding to see your buddy list grow with new friends from around the world, be sure that you absolutely know that the new friend is actually who he says he or she is. Many times predators and cybercriminals (male and female) will hide behind pictures of extremely attractive ladies in sexy poses. Hint: Before adding any new friends to your buddy list, take time to read their profile (which may or may not be completed fully), or do further investigation by visiting their website. An incomplete profile should serve as a red flag and raise you level of suspicion.)

It may take a village to raise a child, but in a world of online social networking, decentralized networks and servers, and increasingly tech-savvy child predators, it's going to take a united effort among government, industry, and families to keep them safe. To protect your child, you need an Internet security team of experts making sure that you, your family, and your business computer are always safe and secure.

The best protection you can have in today's rapidly changing world of cyber-attacks is to have expert support for all your Internet security needs that will provide technical support without any hassles and without charging you extra fees. It will become even more critical than it is today as time goes on. You need to find your own personal team of experts to rely on. If you ever have a security problem, you will want to have a trusted expert you can call for professional help, without any hassles and extra costs!

Remember: When you say "No!" to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don't, we all lose.

© MMVII, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, The Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

Malware That Confounded the Internet World In 2012

2012 has been a year which has seen big stories in the internet world in regards to security. It is easy and straightforward to point out to the big stories which have formed a talking point and which have demanded that a whole different kind of thinking and approaches made in the security industry. In fact to the cyber security world, 2012 has been the year of cyber warfare evident from the government sponsored attacks and malware. This year has also been the year for hacktivists who have attacked websites relentlessly.

The Flashback malware become very popular towards April when the damage it had done was eventually put bare. The number of the Macs infected with the malware was estimated at 700,000. It marked the first infection of the Mac and essentially the biggest to be seen thus far. The ramification of this malware were far reaching since the Mac was now vulnerable and this spelt a big source of concern for the faithful of the Apple brand. Security industry experts in finding answers on how the flashback malware was successful on the Mac OS X platform realized that the malware took advantage of Java vulnerability. It was able to spread and infect more Macs due to users of the Mac having not employed any security measures. It is now common sense that the major outbreaks are actually possible on the Mac platform.

Cyber espionage was in 2012 taken to a whole new different level. From April, cyber attacks were reported in the Middle East to the computer networks and systems of oil platforms. The wiper malware was responsible though it was never profiled since it was not found. But in finding answers to this, other sophisticated malware were unearthed; Flame and Gauss. Flame malware has eventually been declared a very complex malware capable of devastating attacks when deployed. The malware was deployed on Iran in the Middle East aimed at their nuclear enrichment program. The capabilities of Flame were immense and it is able to steal documents, intercept audio conversations, scan blue tooth devices, and take screenshots and corrupt databases. Flame has been closely linked to the Stuxnet malware and both are believed to be sponsored and developed by a government. It is even believed that Flame had been in existence for long before it was discovered. The malware was unique in that it was able to be deployed as a man in the middle and even affect patched Windows operating systems. Gauss was even more mysterious and its abilities as complex as with the flame malware. The deployment of these malware on the Middle East is the signaling of cyber warfare which will only be flaring up in the future as more nations join the cyber arms race.

Android threats in 2012 have increased remarkably and statistics show that android malware has increased six fold. This can be best explained as an explosion in the number of threats on the platform. The reasons behind the explosion in the number of android threats can first be based on the fact that the platform is open source and allows malware writers equal freedom as app developers in taking advantage of the platform. Another reason has to be the economic gain seeing that android has been very popular and there are large numbers of android users to be targeted. Industry experts expect the same trend to continue in the coming year.

The circus revolving around the DNSChanger malware and it eventually shutdown by the FBI deserves mention on the highlights of the security industry in 2012. When this identity theft infrastructure was taken over by the FBI, they gave time for victims of the malware to disinfect their systems. This was a trouble free incident and was a perfect example of what cooperation between the private sector companies, governments and law enforcement agencies could give birth to. Information sharing, cooperation and pooling of resources are vital ingredients if success is to be achieved in the fight against cyber crime.

Notable events in the cyber crime and security industry are Adobe certificate theft, Shamoon malware, the Mahdi incident, password leaks that happened with Dropbox, LinkedIn among others and the Java zero day vulnerabilities. All these were an awakening call to the security industry and showed that attacks will have no boundaries and can affect extremely large numbers of people. Hacktivists came and announced their presence and will be also a very big concern going forward. The actors have not changed much but the scope and the complexity of the attacks continue to grow and the source of concern.

Interview With Jon Praed From Internet Law Group

Jon Praed is a total stud!  He spends his time tracking down hard-core spammers.  The kind that run illegal viagra, casino, porn and phishing spam.

A lot of guys have made money in "grey" areas of internet marketing.  Jon explains how gradually people are being forced to choose sides and that all the aggressive stuff is slowly going away.

If you want to get an overall understanding on where the internet is going long term, this is the interview to check out.  It was one of the most powerful and fascinating ones I've done.

I think you'll find this interview worth listening to yourself.

Adrian: I'm here with Jon Praed from the Internet Law Group. Jon is a pretty interesting guy who has spent a lot of years tracking down hard-core Internet spammers and bringing them to justice. He does this on behalf of companies like Verizon and AOL and has won some pretty important lawsuits and decent-sized judgments. Jon, thanks for joining us. Could you start by telling us a bit about who you are?

Jon: Thank you for having me Adrian. I'm a Midwestern boy, born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. I now live in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I went to college at Northwestern with a major in political science and then graduated from Yale Law.

Right out of law school, I clerked for district court judge John Tinder, who's recently been elevated to the Seventh Circuit, and then for Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice, Randy Shepard. After my clerkships, I was in private practice as a lawyer with Latham & Watkins in both California and Washington, D.C. I also spent two years working on Capitol Hill as chief council to a House subcommittee dealing with regulatory affairs.

I've been doing cyber litigation work for about the past 10 years. I got into it when some ISPs reached out to Latham to take on this newfangled problem called spam. At that time, no one really understood how big it would become and what sort of a precursor it would be into the entire world of cyber crime. I was assigned to the case, quickly fell in love with it and came up with some innovative ways to service the client by marrying our ability to crunch a tremendous amount of data with our ability to bring legal services to bear on the problem.

I left Latham & Watkins to start Internet Law Group where we represent any sort of corporate victim of substantial, systemic, serial cyber fraud whether it's a counterfeiting problem with drug companies, phishers going after bank customers, or mail companies that are trying to deal with inbound or outbound spam problems. In a nutshell, we look for ways to bring strategic actions against cyber criminals and go after any sort of fraudulent Internet activity.

Cyber crime over the past 10 years has really transformed from petty crime, and largely Americans who were kind of geeks gone bad, into an extremely sophisticated international criminal network. The bad guys we are chasing are extremely talented and go to great lengths to hide their activity.

They also take advantage of the inefficiencies that arise from international boundaries. They're moving their physical bodies, their computers and their connectivity to places that are difficult for us in the West to touch and extradite from. They are also moving their money to places where it is difficult for us to freeze.

Adrian: What are some of the big cyber crime cases you've been involved with?

Jon: We've had a number of cases that have been litigated and produced published opinions that have impacted the world of cyber crime. In 2001, we had a published decision in a case we brought for America Online against an Adult Web site called Cyber Entertainment Network in 1999.

AOL had sued Cyber Entertainment Network based on the principle of negligent enablement and negligent hiring and retention. The lawsuit said that they had retained affiliates they either knew or should have known were engaged in spam to advertise their Web sites. On that basis, Cyber Entertainment Network could be held liable.

We used some fairly aggressive technology to grab the data we needed and establish the fact that a large volume of the adult content spam AOL was seeing at the time was attributable to spammers advertising one of a handful of Adult Web sites controlled by Cyber Entertainment Network.

Adrian: There's been a perception that affiliate marketing isn't legitimate. I know profoundly that it's a vital part of Internet commerce. Where do you stand on that issue?

Jon: A properly-run affiliate program can be extremely powerful, but it has to be run effectively. You have to recognise that there are opportunities for abuse and that you are effectively outsourcing your advertising. You have to do so with clear standards in mind, and you have to enforce those standards.

The public injunction that was entered in the AOL versus CEN case remains the best model I've ever seen on how an affiliate program needs to be run. That injunction, which is public, lays out the rules that Cyber Entertainment agreed to follow in the course of the outcome of that litigation.

Those simple standards are to get identity from affiliates, establish rules, have a mechanism to receive complaints from the public, investigate those complaints, report back to the public on the outcome of the investigation and terminate when necessary. If you do those things, you will have a clean affiliate program.

Adrian: What's going on in the area of phishing?

Jon: The phishing problem is really integrated within the overall cyber crime problem. We're chasing some cyber criminals who are engaged in phishing, cashing out of stolen credit cards and at the same time are merchants that are part of a nationwide and international credit card system.

They're authorised to take credit cards over the Internet. They are successfully processing cards from consumers, selling them product and getting credit cards. The path that connects their phishing activities with their merchant credit card activities is an extremely long path, and it takes a tremendous amount of data and sophistication to connect the dots.

A number of reporting Web sites take in phishing-type data. We operate where we receive reports primarily about phish but also about spam and other types of fraudulent acts that can be reported to us. You can also register at that Web site and get a unique e-mail address that can then be used to forward your particular reports to us so they are tagged as coming from each registered user.

Adrian: What are your viewpoints on filtering?

Jon: The problem with the block-it, filter-it strategy that we've largely adopted today is that the bad guys only have to get through one time in order to win. If you block them 99 times, they'll do it 100 times. You're in a constant arms race in the technology space that inevitably we're going to lose.

We have also been too reliant for too long on the technology without recognising how legal process can reinforce what technology is capable of doing. We may be able to fix one component but three new exploits open up constantly. The overall spam volume on the Internet is still growing, and I don't see that trend reversing itself for a long time.

It goes well beyond spam. The number of new viruses, exploits, keystroke loggers and whatnot are simply getting larger. The criminal enterprise behind it is getting more sophisticated and adept at finding a way to monetise the data that they're able to capture through these sorts of exploits.

Adrian: You mentioned the cyber criminals are moving offshore. What are they doing?

Jon: Many of the most sophisticated ones are moving to places where they are physically insulated from law enforcement. They're looking for places where they can pay off local authorities to provide them protection from criminal enforcers and from extradition.

A lot of our work comes down to tying identity to these Internet data points and then marrying that up against pre-existing laws that make these cyber crimes criminal. They're all violating tax laws. They're breaking money laundering laws. They're breaking all sorts of laws on importation of goods. It's not hard to find something illegal that they're doing. The trick is knowing who they are.

In essence, what we're trying to do as a world view is create borders, whether they're technical or physical, that allow us an opportunity to inspect, whether its Internet cyber packets or money transactions.

You can tighten up the border and ultimately cut off the border completely. Over the next decade, we're going to be more frequently facing a real blacklist with certain types of traffic, whether it's flow of humans, money or information. There are going to be borders that simply aren't porous and don't let information through.

Adrian: The concept that a country's Internet traffic would just be blocked is almost a little bit hard to believe. Do you think it will come to that standpoint where the U.S. says, "Dominican Republic, we are shutting you off the Internet until you make sure your country is completely cleaned up, and as soon as you're cleaned up then we'll let you back on."

Jon: Sure.The binary decision of turning the valve completely off will happen at the margin but in between all open and all closed, you have an entire spectrum of controls that you can put in place. A lot of that is designed to simply put the cost and obligation to fix the problem on those people who are best-positioned to fix the problem.

The post-9/11 world makes everyone as a consumer and as a citizen realise, "I can't wait for my government to fix all of the problems out there." As individuals, we have an obligation, a duty, the right and the ability to step up and fix these problems.

I don't know if it will just be a binary decision out of the cold to either fix it immediately or go dark, but there will be those pressures of isolating the problem and putting responsibility on the people who control those access points to clean up their act. It's just like cleaning up the affiliate model.

We couldn't go after Cyber Entertainment Network until we knew that the Web sites ultimately being advertised were all in one way or another controlled by Cyber Entertainment Network. Once you make that connection, it's relatively easy to find the ultimate owner and say, "You have a problem. You have to fix it."

Adrian: It's hard to hear that because these are so many good people here in the Dominican Republic and some of them are just in poverty. This is the kind of stuff that pushes them down even further, but I can see why you do it too.

Jon: You can view it as pushing them down, but you can also view it as empowering them. It gives them the power to control their own destiny and the obligation to do it. What we have to avoid is creating systemic mechanisms that encourage and reward races to the bottom, and I'm a little afraid that the Internet as a whole, given the power of anonymity and the ability to do things in an automated fashion, creates at some level, a race to the bottom.

For example, good companies are dependent on legal mechanisms to give them the ability to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a new drug, but if they can't recoup that cost, we're not going to get new drugs developed. Right now, they are being challenged by bad guys who are selling counterfeits, knockoffs or generics made out of countries that don't recognise patent rights. These counterfeiters, who before had to sell their goods from the back of a truck, now have access through spam and other types of advertising to billions of eyeballs throughout the world.

If you have a systemic problem that is the race to the bottom, you have to find other mechanisms that corkscrew it the other way as races to the top. You have to create jurisdictions that are defined by borders where the borders are defensible and you have to create those jurisdictions with rules that encourage races to the top.

Then we defend those systems that serve as a counterweight against these races to the bottom, segregate those jurisdictions that do suffer from races to the bottom, and isolate their problems within themselves so that they are incentivised to clean themselves up to be able to rejoin the rest of the world.

Adrian: That's a fascinating idea. That concept of race to the top is one of the most profound ideas I've heard. Where can I learn more about that?

Jon: A classmate of mine, Jack Goldsmith, wrote a book called Who Controls the Internet? It provides a refreshing and realistic perspective on how jurisdictions retain power over the dirt they control. It is refreshing to see that even the Internet is subject to those sorts of real politic notions of power and control. There are also some books being written about the economics of cyber security and cyber relationships, such as The Law & Economics of Cyber Security ,Mark Grady ed. 2005. that will drive a lot of this because a lot of these systemic problems are going to be "How can we monetise the value that's inherent in the Internet?" The Internet may be new, but the concept of trying to build systems that encourage a race to the top and not the bottom is not new.

Adrian: Back to your company, how do you specifically help a company?

Jon: We use our technology to grab the data. We also have feeds from public and private sector clients that tell us about Web sites and ads. Then we spider the Web to grab all the data we need to get identity. We triage that data and look for commonalities. Then through undercover buys, informal investigative efforts and formal discovery efforts, we obtain real identity on the bad guys and those who are enabling them.

It's designed to work our way towards hard identity on who these bad guys are. We may identify their real names, their real bank accounts, and the real domains they're using. We identify the merchant accounts that they're using to process credit cards, and we do that generic triage work on a flat-fee basis for our clients.

For example, for X dollars a month, we will acquire the data about a particular drug being advertised in spam, provide to the client our analysis of the top fingerprints that we see in that mass of data and show them a path they can take to identify the responsible persons. They can then hire us to do the additional work required to chase that to its conclusion.

As part of our standard fee, we also provide access to all the other information we've acquired through any other work. Our clients agree that we can share data we acquire about bad guys with all our clients regardless of which client we acquire it on behalf of. Our clients recognise and agree that cyber crime is a common enemy and that they are best protected when they share information about their enemy across the space.

The identity of clients remains sacrosanct. We don't identify clients publicly except when we're required to do so in filing lawsuits or through other means. We may tell Client X that Client Y was victimised by the same serial fraudster on the same day and approximately the same time so that Client X and Y can know that there's someone else interested in catching this person.

They then can each make the decision whether they want to join hands through us and either remain anonymous or actually identify themselves to each other and, by combining resources, come up with a strategic solution to the problem far faster than they could ever do on their own.