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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Britain Should Jail Hackers Instead of Using Antivirus

The researchers from the University of Cambridge have recently made an interesting suggestion, saying that it would be much better for the United Kingdom to use the money it spends on antivirus software on more resources to policing the web instead.

We have already mentioned the results of the study titled “Measuring the cost of cybercrime” and carried out by an international team of scientists from the University of Cambridge. The results of the study were the following: the United Kingdom spends $1 billion on attack prevention and clean-up, of which $170 million is spent on antivirus. At the same time, the government only spent $15 million to online law enforcement to catch the hackers.

We can see from the survey that the British lose 10 times that amount to the cybercriminals, so it seems a little light, the researchers claim. Lead author Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory, explained that some police forces think the issue in question is too large to address. However, in reality there are only a few hackers that are guilty of many incidents. Therefore, it would be much more effective to identify those hackers and jail them, than it would be to force the public to fit an anti-phishing toolbar or buy antivirus software.

Perhaps, the researchers are right, but one could have too many questions about the way to identify and catch all the hackers. Meanwhile, Professor Anderson and his colleagues are ready to present their findings in a few days at the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security in Germany. Maybe, they will describe the method in details there.

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