Q

Who's fighting the spyware operators?

There are plenty of malicious hackers who use spyware to gather others' personal data, so why aren't these cybercriminals behind bars? In this SearchSecurity.com Q&A, Ed Skoudis explains some of the challenges facing law enforcement.

Why do the malicious hackers responsible for spyware get away with invading our personal property without being caught and prosecuted? It seems like this would be a high priority for law enforcement.
There are many factors that prevent spyware purveyors from being put behind bars. First off, many of them distribute spyware through a complex network of partnerships and identities, making the true criminals hard to find. Even worse, many spyware operators conduct their business from overseas. In these countries, the legal systems and law enforcement personnel are not well-equipped to confront the threat.

Law enforcement not only faces complex jurisdictional issues, but they also often experience communication barriers. Imagine explaining some complex technical and legal issues to someone with whom you have no language in common.

Finally, law enforcement is very busy these days. While law enforcement officials do aggressively seek out spyware perpetrators, they also have many other priorities, like thwarting terrorist attacks or investigating organized crime, just to name a few. Fighting spyware is certainly important, but at the same time, we have to understand the limited resources and great responsibilities we place on our law enforcement personnel.

More information:

  • Learn about one of the best ways to fight spyware: unified threat management.
  • Review the most common types of mobile spyware.
  • This was first published in June 2007

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