Stalking, scams, theft, underhanded business tactics, vandalism and the like have existed for millennia, and have found ways to exploit emerging technologies from check writing to the telegraph. The Internet age is no exception.
A fair amount of early cybercrime fit the popular image of the pimply-faced teenager in his bedroom, breaking into government networks for the thrill of it. But today a growing class of professional criminals are targeting ordinary users and their private information. Some work alone, while others are part of organized crime groups. Their profits may rival those of illegal drug trafficking. This underground economy has matured into a self-sustaining and geographically diverse global network. Criminals use phony e-mails, fake Web sites, and plant malware on legitimate Websites and online ads. While we're uploading, downloading, transferring and sharing our most personal information, sophisticated criminals may be lurking on the other side of the screen.
The panel will examine the kinds of threats out there, how they've evolved, and what the future may hold. It will also tackle some of the key questions around cybercrime today: Are there steps individuals should take to protect themselves? How important a threat is cyberterrorism? Can society combat cybercrime in ways that don't restrict the net's openness, or civil liberties?
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043