How big a problem is crimeware?

The Rise of Crimeware

David Perry, Global Director of Education, Trend Micro:

The FBI reported two weeks ago that $67.2 billion a year is lost to cybercrime. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars a day.

Even more insidious than phishing is “pharming.” Pharming is where the attackers poison the DNS with false information […] you simply type your bank’s URL into your browser and the DNS misdirects you to the Russian mafia.
Incidentally, a lot of this crimeware does originate with the Russian mafia, and the FBI tells me that much of the stolen money ends up in Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, where we cannot get it back through extradition.

Perry reported that “earlier this month at the Antispyware Coalition meeting in Washington, the head of the [National Network to End Domestic Violence] claimed that spyware is involved in more than 90 percent of all domestic violence cases.”

I tried unsuccessfully to find some justification for that number. It seems unbelievable that 90% of domestic violence cases even have computers.

ACM study on outsourcing IT jobs

The ACM released a new study last week on the effects of outsourcing on the IT industry. They conclude that rumors of the death of computer science in the US are greatly exagerated. Study Plays Down Export of Computer Jobs

Dire predictions of job losses from shifting high-technology work to low-wage nations with strong education systems, like India and China, were greatly exaggerated. […] The study group found that the most likely prognosis for the United States would be that 2 percent to 3 percent of the jobs in information technology would go offshore annually over the next decade or so.

But more jobs will be created than are lost in the future, they said, as long as the industry in America moves up the economic ladder to do higher-value work — typically, applying information technology to other fields, like biology and business.

However, it will be hard to counter the belief among high school students that computer science is a dead-end field. This year, only 1.3% of students are planning to enter CS, down from 3.3% in 2000.

“The perception among high school students and their parents is that the game is over — that all computing jobs are going overseas,” [observed Prof. David Patterson, of UC, Berkeley]. “It’s an extraordinarily widely held misperception.”

Job openings at Domino’s Bangalore

Bush insists outsourcing to India has its benefits

“India’s middle class is buying air-conditioners, kitchen appliances and washing machines, and a lot of them from American companies like GE and Whirlpool and Westinghouse. And that means their job base is growing here in the United States. Younger Indians are acquiring a taste for pizzas from Domino’s, Pizza Hut,” Bush said to laughs from the audience at a Washington hotel. “Today, India’s consumers associate American brands with quality and value, and this trade is creating opportunity at home.”

Yeah, when I think quality, I always think of Pizza Hut.

“It’s true that a number of Americans have lost jobs because companies have shifted operations to India. And losing a job is traumatic. It’s difficult. It puts a strain on our families,” he said. But instead of responding with “protectionist policies,” Bush said the United States needs to improve education and job training for displaced workers.

Doesn’t this sound a little ironic, given how the Bush administration has pushed protectionist policies for steel, lumber and agriculture?