Scams, e-mails accounts hacked, illegal file-sharing: where is the priority?

Where is the priority indeed. In one of my old newspapers’ cuts I continue to go through, the journalist Jack Schofield argues “that a bigger threat [than illegal filesharers] is from malware – and its consequences for e-commerce“. Infected computers with virus, trojan horses, fake anti-virus/adware etc…, are posing a threat to commerce, whether for the company or the end-user. The suggestion at the end of the article is to start informing users within a bot or with malware of the risk they pose to internet users. From 5 november 2009, the article ties in well with a previous one on The Guardian also, from 13 August 2009 which reports how “computer viruses slow African expansion“. The story is actually quite sad. Ethiopia has embraced IT and tends now to use it for everything, healthcare, agriculture planning etc.. With no understanding of back up, antivirus and data security by its ordinary users, because nobody explained it, information can be lost very easily through infected computers. The virus writers don’t realise it.  Hence an IT trainer from Voluntary Service Overseas who leaves at the time at least in Ethiopia, brings the culprits to Ethiopia and shows them the concrete damages they create: crops lost, children that will die because of bad planning or lack of medicine…

For an online scam with eBay, see “Gang boss jailed for eBay golf club swindle” The Guardian, 5 March 2010

and how micro-scams bring lots of money: “Scammers Actually Got Away With Millions Of Microtransactions Scam” TechDirt, 29 June 2010

// And for e-mail accounts hacked or flooded with spams, “Rhodri Marsden: The true cost of email security“, The Independent, 21 April 2010

and the more recent article from the Guardian Money which hacked into Gmail accounts, just to demonstrate how easy it was. “Gmail filter an opportunity for fraudsters” The Guardian, 24 April 2010.

About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
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