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Is Anything being done about Cyber Crime?

Security risks and breaches have become so prevalent in today's society that the House of Representatives has created a Technology Subcommittee that is currently interviewing the leading security experts in the industry to report back to Congress, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, to help determine how to best proceed in creating and enforcing new laws specifically addressing these new threats.

On September 9, 2003 the Technology Subcommittee heard testimony from the top leaders in Internet Security, with some very troubling statistics emerging. Christopher Wysopal, Co-founder of @Stake Consulting stated that "a new computer that is connected to the Internet for the first time will be compromised within 72 hours". He also stated that "the Blaster Worm marks the first significant change in virus attacks because it is the first virus to deliver a payload". Greg Akers, Chief Technology Officer of Cisco Systems stated "an entire marketplace has sprung up that exploits the vulnerabilities of software products that the public is completely unaware of".

Vincent Gullotto, leader of Network Associates' Anti-Virus Emergency response team said "Security is not a place to get to, it is an ever evolving challenge". He also stated emphatically, "Anti-virus software alone is no longer enough to protect against current (security) threats". Phillip Reitenger, Senior Security Strategist for Microsoft stated, "Criminals will sometimes use private computer networks in launching attacks".

Consider the following comments made by Dr. John Schwartz, President of Symantec Corporation: "We are a society that relies more and more on Cyber Technology". "Attacks are faster, more unpredictable, and more destructive that ever before...........Cyber attacks are gaining in virility." "According to our findings, 250 new software vulnerabilities and 450 new viruses are discovered each month." Dr. Schwartz also said: "Firewalls and updated virus software should be compared in importance to seatbelts in cars". He finished his testimony with suggestions on combating these threats: "Security requires regular audits and proactive assessments to be effective", and "the #1 step is educating users in protection".

"Education is the Key, for software engineers, system administrators and consumers, to combat these new security threats." (Greg Akers, CTO of Cisco Systems)



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