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Law enforcement = 0 / Bad guys = 1

June 30th, 2009

It's a sad day for all of us when bad guys get caught, yet are allowed to walk freely.

As reported by TheReg, James Reno, involved in the creation, distribution and scams using Rogue Antivirus such as ErrorSafe, WinAntiviurs and XPAntivirus,  was allowed to "walk" with just a small fine of $116K. The article suggest he scammed users out of $50 million by infecting their PCs with rogue crapware and scaring them into paying up.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/29/scareware_settlement/

What kind of message is the FTC sending to the rest of the bad guys? "Go ahead, infect millions of users and don't worry about jail time. Just give us a small percentage and we'll let you go." 

I already had small hopes that law enforcement and governments do anything useful to help protect users. But this goes beyond absurd and is sending the wrong message that cyber-crime is OK as long as they pay their dues to governments.

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    July 6th, 2009 at 01:53 | #1

    Government has to make sure there is a stead stream of income through fines. If there are no people who can be fined, government will have less money.

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    July 6th, 2009 at 08:30 | #2

    So you’re saying crime is OK as long as the criminals pay taxes?

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    July 25th, 2009 at 08:05 | #3

    I hope 1 day. Government computers gets fukc up.

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    July 25th, 2009 at 19:58 | #4

    You can't possibly be serious. Sad day?

    Are you that out of touch with reality?

    So you're saying fill up already over-crowded prisons even more, with cyber-scammers, is that what you think the solution is?

    Sounds like quite the plan there… I don't think so.

    Look, I'd love to see these scamming criminals locked up & forced into labor camps as much as the 'next security guy' but this is simply unrealistic & doesn't really solve anything in the long run.

    Another scammer (errr make that 'many') will pop up to replace the previous one. Bet on that.

    Long as there is money to be made, it will keep on going. and going, and going…

    Soon enough the prisons will be bursting with Rogue AV & botnet peddlers, 419'ers, etc…! What a solution.

    Reality check time…

    Sending every 'internet criminal' to prison is not going to make much of a dent.

    If anything you end up costing society more & further enlarging the population of prison hardened cons who for the most part come out *worse* than they went in.

    AND…. who do you think will foot the bill to keep these cons locked up?

    You, me & everyone else. Thats who! Our tax dollars keep these guys locked up. Did you bother to consider that?

    Just because 'we' (the security community) know & understand these threats more than your average joe schmoe doesn't mean internet-cons should get 1st dibs to a 6×6 iron & concrete hotel room!

    Save the prisons for the serious threats to society. We have molesters, murderers & real hardened criminals being set free every day, whether by parole, stupid judges, time being served or early release due to overcrowding!

    Sit on that for a moment…

    As well, I encourage all of you to walk (don't drive, WALK with your netbook in hand) thru your nearest "hood", "Ghetto" or seriously 'effed up neighborhood & tell me who you would rather see locked up, better yet visit a State Prison & then blog.

    I can assure you that you will encounter much more dangerous folk (I'm not saying all people in less affluent environments are bad either, so don't go taking me out of context).

    I don't know about you guys but I'd much rather save prison space for the real threats to society than some idiot scammer that is a threat to your IDS/AV, Spam folder, Paypal account or Western Union office.

    Sure, hang the threat of jail over there head, I'm with that. But until we educate people (i.e., non-technical, non security savvy) better on how to avoid cyber-threats/scams and minimize the profit potential from such scams, it aint gonna go away.

    Thats not to say some shouldn't go to jail, but save it for the serious repeat & mastermind offenders.

    Sending the big time "Bernie Maddofs" (sp?) of cyber-crime to long federal vacations is A-Ok with me, but lets not kid ourselves into thinking everyone who scams on the net will or should go to prison.

    Take the profits, take the bank accounts, seize assets, ban them from computer use & sentence them to very long community-service / supervised probation terms as well as heavy heavy fines & restitution. Figure a way to hit them where it hurts.

    If we're all so "smart" as security guys then I'm sure we can figure out something better than feeding the Prisons.

    How bout we do a better job of finding where the money is going, coming from or hidden.

    Its gotta be somewhere right?!

    Or, better yet lets find ways to improve our technology, engage banks, ISP's, PC / Sofwtare  Mfr's, etc..

    We must make it more difficult as well as less worth the time & effort to implement these scams.

    Its time we all 'get real' about this & stop trying to play wanna-be-cop.

    If Security gurus, AV companies & Security firms are really deadset on knocking these guys out then start finding ways to penetrate the less fortunate & uneducated computer using masses without making them pay (much if anything) for our technology.

    Otherwise we're really no better, 'cause we're taking there money too!

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