RSA 2015: Keynote addresses online safety risks to increasingly connected youths

Technology can’t replace the value of online safety education, the key to keeping kids out of  predators’ paths, panelists shared.
Technology can’t replace the value of online safety education, the key to keeping kids out of predators’ paths, panelists shared.

When Michael Osborn, chief of the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children unit, started out in his line of work, a Polaroid photo was often the evidence he searched for in predators' homes to help put away offenders– but now, sexual crimes against children often start online, or can be traced somehow to activities in cyber-space, the federal investigator shared.

At RSA Conference 2015, Osborn highlighted two recent developments the bureau has observed while investigating such cases today: criminals using remote wiping technology to thwart investigators' efforts, and an increasing number of sextortion cases involving minors.

The latter, he offered during the Thursday afternoon keynote, called “Into the Woods: Protecting Our Youth from the Wolves of Cyberspace,”  involves “a process,” Osborn said.

It can begin with children sharing their own pictures online, but predators can also obtain the images through a number of routes, including social engineering, malware or lurking on social media websites or chat rooms that victims' might frequent.

Osborn sat on a panel with Lance Spitzner, training director of SANS Securing The Human, child sexual exploitation expert  Dr. Sharon Cooper, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP), and Alicia Kozakiewicz, president of The Alicia Project.  Sandra Toms, vice president and curator of RSA Conference moderated the keynote panel.

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