Is the Net Doomed?
The Internets running amok. We are in a dark period for law and order.
At first hackers were inventive experimenters. Even the baddies who broke into systems were geeky teen scofflaws, high-SAT-types from tech towns like Berkeley and Cambridge. These guys are still around, and still making trouble. But every kind of unlawful Web-based activity visible ten years ago has increased in scale and intensity.
Where once there were a few relatively uncomplicated viruses, now there are torrents of fast-evolving, multifaceted viruses. Where once there was just small-time credit-card fraud, now there is international credit-card racketeering. Computer-network password theft has turned into sophisticated ID fraud that robs patrons of banks and online auction sites. Spam, once an occasional rude violation of "netiquette," now arrives by the ton (12.9 billion pieces a day worldwide last May, according to the e-mail security firm IronPort), some of it fantastically bizarre and/or obscene.
Then there are the newer electronic crimes, proliferating so fast that even experts have trouble keeping up with the jargon. Phishing. Spear phishing. Pharming. DDOS. DDOS protection rackets. Spyware. Scumware. Web site defacement. Botnets. Keylogging.- PCWorld.com - Is the Net Doomed?
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