Computers should have built-in security features

Every computer that is sold should have pre-installed systems that would reduce the instances of cybercrime, the former National Hi-Tech Crime Unit`s E-Crime Congress in London has been advised.

Apr 21, 2006
By David Howell
Former PCs Deniz Jaffer (left) and Jamie Lewis.

Every computer that is sold should have pre-installed systems that would reduce the instances of cybercrime, the former National Hi-Tech Crime Unit`s E-Crime Congress in London has been advised.

Bernhard Otupal, a crime intelligence officer for financial and high-tech crime at Interpol said: “I would like to see boxes with operating systems sold with complete pre-installed security systems. Phishing and pharming wouldn`t be possible if there was pre-installed security software on a machine.” In a recent phishing attack a number of customers from a well-know high street bank were asked to resubmit their account details after being told that the bank was updating its servers.

However, Otupal did concede that no computer system could be one hundred per cent secure when he admitted: “Everyone thinks they are creating secure systems, but as long as there are criminals they will find security leaks. There is no such thing as a secure system.” He also stated that more could be done, but leaving users to secure their own systems wasn’t enough: “If you buy a car, a warranty is normally in place. I think users should expect the same online. If users use a service like Yahoo! this service should offer a certain level of security, which Yahoo! does offer — it`s a question of if users are using it. The big players have dozens of advice lists, but the question is whether users are looking at the pages.”

Alan Paller, director of SANS, told ZDNet UK: “Stop blaming the user, and start emphasising the role of vendors and ISPs. A partnership between them will solve security problems.”

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