Working in the area of information security and computer crime you get used to hearing bad news and stories. We often can get caught up in the hype and technical challenges our jobs bring. However, from time to time I hear stories or talk to people who make me pause and realise there are many evil acts being perpetrated against innocent people. In some cases these acts are facilitated or supported in some way by the use of computers and networks. This interview of Rob Morris, president of Love 146, by Alec Baldwin reminded me there are still areas of crime and computer crime that we need to ensure governments give law enforcement the necessary resources to fight human trafficking, in particular on children within the sex industry.
While most of us do not work directly with law enforcement we as a community should also strive to make sure that our computers, systems and networks are not being used by criminals to facilitate their crimes. While having your computer being used as part of a botnet to take part in a DDOS attack against someone’s website is bad, it is still in many people’s minds not a major issue. However, the same vulnerabilities exploited by criminals to make that computer part of a botnet could also be exploited by criminals to share child abuse images and other material.
Have a listen to the interview and maybe it can help focus our minds in making our systems more secure, which in turn may be one small act that help those less fortunate than ourselves.
Love 146 is a US organisation that fights to prevent child sex slavery and provide aftercare for its victims. I’d like to thank Sean Sullivan, security advisor with F-Secure labs for making me aware of this interview. I follow Sean on Twitter and recommend that you do too.