Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When does hacktivism become a criminal activity?

RIM is threaten with being hacked if it for helps UK cops stop riots. Credit card companines were hacked for cutting off Wikileaks. When does hacktivism become a criminal activity? It's an interesting situation. Many would argue that Wikileaks engaged in criminal activity by releasing the State Dept documents, and that cyberthugs got payback. It's really not a big step to from using social media to organize demonstrations to using it to organize flashmobs for rioting and looting. The role of social media in the Middle East uprisings not withstanding, does it's use to forment crime warrant warrant cooperation between service provides and government. Civil disobediance frequently leads to demonstrations, and demonstratios to riots as the original intent is corrupted by those who see an opportunity for criminal profit.

What's this say about the security of service providers? I don't know why I was surprised that Wilileaks supporters were able to hit MasterCard and Visa. You'd assume their security was good, and obviosuly the assumption was wrong. Is RIM as vulnerable? It'll be interesting to see if it's hacked regardless of whether or it cooperates with UK cops. Is there anything it can do to prevent it now that it's been warned.

Jim Tiller suggested that enterprises really can't "protect and detect," but can only "respond." If true, then perhaps hackers don't need to penetrate systems, but just threaten. This opens a new area of threat.