1Everything about Online Crime
Let’s talk about the man who knows everything about online crime. Ross Anderson, professor at Cambridge and one of the world’s leading experts in cybersecurity, warns about the dangers of the lack of control of crime on the Internet.
In a simple crime this is what happens. You have to post on several websites ads to rent a flat in a city with little offer and a lot of movement. The photos should be beautiful and the price very affordable. And ask for money to “block housing” to the first ones who write.
Thousands of people sting each year. In 2015, in the United Kingdom, 3,200 people looking for a house called the police. The British Local Government Association believes that this figure is only 5% of the victims. It is a scam of hundreds of millions of euros per year.
Ross Anderson is one of the biggest experts in online crime . His book Security Engineering, 1,500 pages (or 17 megabytes), was published for the first time in 2001 and in 2020 it will release its third edition. It is one of the bibles of the subject. The team that works with him discovered the origin of that scam of flats: he was in Berlin and he got between five and seven million pounds a year, half with advertisements in London.
What did the police do when those affected showed the evidence? “Nothing,” says Anderson. “This is organized crime, fat guy, that guy in Berlin makes a lot of money, we went to talk to the London police, who are investigating frauds of two or three million pounds but they said they would not do anything if it’s online . Foreign.”
An online search of this flats scam results in dozens of links about cases, queries and complaints, including one from the Cambridge police on how to detect it. But there is no stopping.
Online crime is not sexy or scary enough. It’s not like terrorism or child pornography, says Anderson. Although their statistics do not stop rising, society, for now, can coexist with these crimes. “The [British] ministers do not want to know anything about ordinary fraud, it’s not interesting enough, but it represents the majority of the crimes that are committed,” Anderson explains during a recent visit to Madrid to give a talk at the Ramón Areces Foundation.
“Governments continue to boast about how good they are in the fight against crime, but they ignore the ‘online’ scams
The disinterest in these crimes will remain as long as they are not too expensive. “What has happened in the last 10 or 15 years?” Asks the expert. “Crime has jumped on the Internet, governments continue to boast of how good they are in the fight against crime but ignore online or electronic scams , bank fraud and other related issues.”
Anderson talks about online crime with the naturalness of a biologist who describes the behavior of an animal: that’s how it works, no more. Link examples of common crimes with computer feats, pioneers in the eighties, which then became commonplace. Just shut up: it’s like a trovador of online crime . The variety of crimes is immeasurable. And it seems so easy …
Children who cheat
It is even easy to start. A recent novelty is to use a denial of service attack in online games . That type of attack consists of sending millions of visits to a website to knock it down. It was used a lot to prevent a web from being visible for a while. Now online players use it to launch a small attack against their opponent to leave a few seconds out of the game and win.
Anderson’s team observes the kids who use these resources – which cost a few dollars in the “supermarkets of evil” on the Internet – to understand the future “paths of crime”: “We see how a child happens to be a cheater gamer someone who buys a service denial service to kill their rivals, it’s the initial drug, like someone who starts smoking hashish at school. ” It could be the beginning of major crimes.
Every day there are examples of crimes under the media radar. The city of Baltimore (USA) has hijacked its online services since May 7 due to a computer attack that asks for a reward. There is no way to pay bills, use the official email and many of the phones. Officials of the American city have recovered the role. In 2018 it happened in Atlanta and the insurance paid the damages. Similar cases against private companies do not come to light.