Cringely's Plan To Stop Phishing: Bounties!
from the vigilanteism-is-so-in-these-days dept
Does Robert Cringely not use Google? In his latest column, he starts out by claiming that people aren't being arrested and sent to jail for phishing. A quick Google search turns up more than a few such stories, including a few from right around these parts. Still, the rest of his column goes on to discuss how to solve the phishing problem. In his mind, the problem is that no one is really going after phishers, so maybe we should make everyone go after phishers. In other words, set up a bounty system that where companies pay people who track down phishers. A bounty system, eh? Wonder where that idea came from? Will he agree to quit his column if it doesn't work a la Lessig's promise on the spam bounty? The problem with a bounty system in this case, is that the frontline people involved in phishing scams are pretty much expendable. Phishing is mostly done by organized crime groups. If some bounty hunters track down some kids sending out spam or hosting a bogus website, it won't really matter to the real criminals, who will just find some new kids to handle the dirty work. And, of course, there already are some vigilantes trying to track down phishers, and it's just made the phishers shift strategy. It's a nice idea, but it doesn't seem likely to really solve the problem.