Friday, February 22, 2008

The causes of rising Internet Crime

This is an excerpt from the book in CSO magazine. It describes how we got into the situation we have. (warning, I did not write the biography at the end of the piece, nor did I approve it, while it is technically true it somewhat overemphasizes my role).Early on in the development of the Web there was a lot of concern about the risks of credit card fraud, we didn't worry so much about online banking because the idea was considered preposterous. At the time I was unable to persuade Dreamworks that they should start putting up Web pages for movies. At the time we had a million users and the number was rising rapidly so it was clearly a big opportunity for the studios. But they were not interested.The tipping point came when the White House site went online. Before that nobody would give us time of day. Afterwards every CEO seemed to have the idea that their company should have a Web site. Nobody credited the White House of course, but it was our IBM PC moment. Before the IBM PC the MIS world looked down on the micro-computer. After IBM endorsed the PC they were suddenly kosher.So I don't think it was unreasonable to not think about online banking in 1994. The big mistake I made then that I regret is that I always thought that businesses would care rather more about security before exposing their businesses to the Internet. The banking infrastructure developed in a pre-Internet age and fraud was a significant issue (but not as significant as credit risk). Suddenly the banking infrastructure was dumped onto the Internet using a technology that had only been designed to secure the transport of credit card numbers.

read more | digg story

No comments: