End-users say a DDoS attack would be fair in a wartime situation, as comments are made on who would police such activity

News by Dan Raywood

Facebook should use its security page to inform users about current threats and scams on the website.

Facebook should use its security page to inform users about current threats and scams on the website.

Talking to SC Magazine at the launch of the 2010 security threat report, Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said that if Facebook used its security page to put something on it about scams and had the willingness to warn people about what was more successful it would make a lot of common sense.

He said: “They don't want to talk about specific threats as the page might get a reputation of where threats lurk.”

The 2010 security threat report surveyed visitors to the Sophos Facebook page and those who came to its own site on threats in a ‘cyber warfare' situation. It found that 49 per cent of recipients said that it was acceptable to launch a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against another country's websites in a wartime scenario. Disagreeing were 44 per cent, while seven per cent said it would be acceptable.

Cluley claimed that this was the case of ‘all is fair in love and war'. He said: “War is different, and there are no morals. Most understand that this is life but it is hard to police, so what about internal agreements with use of this? Seven per cent said they agreed if it brought an end to hostilities and if it prevented people dying, it is not a bad thing.”

However Cluley also raised the point of an international agreement on cyber warfare. A survey asked if there should be an international agreement about what types of cyber warfare are acceptable, 77 per cent said yes and 23 per cent disagreed. The problem with this, commented Cluley was that it would be very hard to police.

“The problem with compromised computers is that if the people inside an attack don't have the backing of a country, who controls them? They can go into another country, hack the computers and attack another country, if it were a missile you would think it is the government who has the means to do that,” he said.

The report claimed that ‘cyber crime has entered a third age, maturing from a geeky hobby and then a money-making enterprise to become a global political, industrial and perhaps even a military tool'.

A question was asked ‘is your country doing enough to protect itself from an internet attack by another nation?' Just over half (54 per cent) said no, 40 per cent said that they did not know and six per cent said yes.

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