OPINION: Is the Web broken or are users too lax?

Is the city roads department responsible for bank robberies? Blaming the city for theft because it builds and maintains roads that allow thieves to drive to and from their victims is like blaming the Internet for denial of service attacks and botnets.

At IT360 earlier this month, Montrealer Michael Calce, who served eight months in youth prison for his denial of service attacks in 2000 that took major Web sites such as Yahoo and CNN offline, explained to an overflow crowd why he thinks the Internet is still “broken.” He said social engineering methods are still used to fool naive employees into allowing miscreants access to IT assets. But using incidents like Conficker and Mafiaboy to complain the Internet is broken is like saying the road system is broken because thieves are able to drive to and from the places they rob. Some may believe Conficker, which can block access to security sites and launch brute force attacks on administrator passwords, is another symptom of a “broken” Internet.

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