Electronic Nastiness is Proliferating

There are growing numbers of types of electronic nastiness.

In 1985, viruses were the only real bit of nastiness. The last three years have seen innovation and profusion of nastiness:

  • Spam became serious in 2002   
  • 419 advance fee fraud attacks, traditionally from Nigeria. Became serious in 2002 
  • Phishing attacks became serious in 2004
  • Spyware became serious in 2004   
  • SPLOGS: spam blogs and other "black-hat" search engine optimization techniques are causing serious pollution of search engine results. Became serious in 2005
  • SPIT: cheapness of VoIP causes overseas call centers to make telemarketing calls -- often in violation of laws, but they get away with it  because they're overseas. Became serious in 2005
  • Spear Phishing: highly targeted phishing attacks using social engineering or malformed MS Office documents. Became serious in 2005

SPIM--spam over instant messaging could become a problem, but so far hasn't. SPIT's likely to get far worse.

... David Ferris and

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