Who is winning the Internet security wars?

Good Side: 26.61% (818)

Bad Side: 45.32% (1 393)

Stalemate: 28.07% (863)

Total Votes: 3 074


Bad side appears to be winning, sadly.
Every day I hear yet another horror story
of someone getting cracked and robbed,
or cyber-stalked.

My understanding is that many Internet
villains are very easily able to hide
themselves away, so there rarely seems
to be any consequences for their criminal
Their victims suffer, and feel both
helpless and hopeless, because these
people never get to answer for their bad

I'm hoping one day some technical genius
will come up with an Internet version of
DNA evidence. I've had family and friends
traumatized by online criminals, and it's
certainly made me more paranoid and far
less trusting of the web.

Avenged Sevenfold:

I thought it was a frivolous poll.

Why is it about good and bad?

Who's to say what's good or what's bad?

These are all personal adjectives to
describe typically what one likes
or dislikes.

Also, many folks seem to think security
is a one-stop solution but it isn't.
Security is a continual process; the "bad"
guys constantly discover and/or create
vulnerabilities that the "good" guys
then fix.

I actually think the "bad" guys are doing
all of us a favor by throwing problem
areas into relief. It's too bad their
counterparts aren't equally gifted in
that regard.

Ultimately I think neither side will win this
war. I expect it to continue till kingdom come.

Educating Eve:

These days I think people should be required
to take a basic course on Internet security.

I imagine malicious users take greater advantage
of newbies who think that they're safe because
they have a good firewall, antivirus software,
spy-ware, malware, and Trojan scanner.

I know people who still blindly open attachments
and let them run. Many newbies have never even
heard of phishing attacks and it's such a sad
state of affairs! :(

The one feature I like about Internet Explorer 7
is its phishing filter and I also like
SpyBot Search & Destroy.

Exponentially Anxious:

Overall, it looks like the bad guys are winning.
The sophistication of their tacticsis outpacing
the knowledge and defensive capabilities of the
average PC owner.

Moreover, reactive defenses are becoming less
effective as the malware authors ratchet up the
speed of their assembly lines (over 20 new known
Zlob variants yesterday alone, for example).

As Internet access expands worldwide, we'll also
have many more first-timers expanding the
potential pool of victims.

Able Abe:

I think there is a general consensus that
neither side is winning, but each has its
moments in the sun, before being driven
back into corrective darkness. This will
continue until governments implement
more informed laws.

And why not fine all those people who use
unprotected PCs? Just like one is penalized
for driving a defective car on account of
it endangers the lives of other motorists.

Everyone using an unprotected PC puts all
other users at risk of getting infected
with malware. They put websites at risk
of receiving DDoS attacks. They expose
all their personal contacts to spam,
phishing emails, 419 scams and Identity
theft. Need I say more?

So aside from greater involvement from
governments consumers need to wake up
and smell the coffee.

We are not living with DOS anymore.
We are living with Windows and those
windows can crack. But somehow people
act like they're bulletproof.

Pay heed all ye who browse porn sites,
download pirated software, ripped mp3s
and movies from spy-ware infested websites!


Do you believe in conspiracies?

Fighting viruses and spyware is
big business. No malware, no need
for Norton or McAfee.

Candy's Kane:

The Internet is presently ill-equipped to aid
the effective policing of its diverse and
evolving traffic. Especially in financially
motivated meetings, the means for dishonest
conduct far outweigh the disincentives. The
Internet is a candy store without a lockable
front door.


I voted bad side. It's the order of things:
The good guys always chase after the bad
ones. It's all pretty much reactive since
new threats are created constantly.

I imagine there's a huge number of Internet
users who are completely ignorant of the
precautions needed to safely surf the Web.
They still open unsolicited emails, use their
computers with zero protection and of course
more than likely become unsuspecting zombies.
There are also some that just don't care.
Until that changes the bad guys will always
have the lead.


I voted for the good side, but I must add
that its success is more in the long term
than otherwise. Let me tell you a story in
that context.

I'm not an expert in IT security, but I'm
very much interested in it. There was a time
I preached about the necessity of firewalls,
antivirus software, patching, etc. to some of
my workmates who owned unprotected computers
on the grounds that security software slowed
down their PCs and was ultimately helpless
against determined intruders.

Well, after some time one of them showed up
to work all miserable because his World of
Warcraft profile was totally ruined not long
after he downloaded an add-on from a WoW forum.
Interestingly, after this incident all of them
busily installed firewalls and antivirus software.

So, the conclusion is, in my opinion, that people
need to educate themselves on Internet security,
otherwise ultimately they'll learn the hard way.
In order for the bad guys to strike with minimal
force, Internet users need to arm themselves with
the right kind of knowledge.

Digital Deacon:

Seems to me we're always in a race.
One side trumps the other, and then
it becomes necessary for the other side
to respond. I'm not sure there's really
a winner or a loser, but I have to agree

We who pay attention, and know what's
going on, are in the minority. We there-
fore need to evangelize.

I take that very personally. I'm always talking
to people about safe-guarding their computers:
Harden wireless routers, have several malware
fighters, etc. In fact, my cousin is next on the
list in a couple of weeks.


We'll always be a step behind.
Even the most secure places are
vulnerable. Fort Knox included.

Looking at the Internet, it's not
untrue to say more than half of all
its users are not IT-savvy and have
no idea of the dangers lurking about.
The bad guys will always find ways to
prey on such unsuspecting individuals.

We can't get rid of Internet crime,
just like we can't eradicate crime
in the real world. Unsurprisingly,
in both instances, big money is at

The situation might be different if we
introduced total governmental control and
surveillance of the net, but such a prospect
is grossly undesirable.

Jive Bunny:

I voted stalemate, but the poll was not
subtle enough. It's a stalemate with
the bad guys slightly ahead. They attack,
we counter, they attack again another way,
we counter, and so forth.


I only have free software installed on my
computer to protect it against viruses,
malware and spy-ware. Compared to a few
years ago when it was totally unprotected,
it's been acting up way less.

Maybe it's also because other computer owners
now protect their machines thanks to the
arrival of free security software. Or maybe
it's just that people are getting more

A cousin of mine mentioned the other day
that he'd first need to install antivirus
software before surfing the net for
the first time. And he doesn't even
know what a browser is!

So hats off to all the professionals who
toil to keep us safe. Your efforts are truly


I voted good guys, and my reason is
this very blog. When I first started
coming here there was a handful of
us. Now more people are chipping
in. United we stand!


The good guys of course!

Most of us run:

(1) A firewall

(2) Linux

(3) SpamAssassin and DansGuardian.

Microsoft claims to be combating the innumerable
malware, viruses, and trojans that are specifically
aimed at its products, but seeing how these
undesirables are being produced at breakneck
speed, one wonders about the effectiveness of
the purported countermeasures.

Security experts admitted in August 2007 that
the above is true, and that blacklists in AV
programs just don't work. They also stated that
whitelists are the only option left.

I dumped Microsoft's flawed products in 1997,
and I continue to convert others by the hundreds
each year. There's simply no room for mediocrity
in such a rich and novel field.

Conundrum Colin:

A malware fighter loses when it doesn't win,
but a virus wins if it isn't defeated. It's
always been like that and it always will.


Tough call! My vote was good question.
In an effort to further protect my system
I recently purchased and installed the
Anonymizer sfw. Trouble is it slows down
my throughput significantly. I am attempting
to tune my system to compensate for this;
unfortunately, nothing seems to help much.

As the good guys, we need to keep resisting!
Are there any tools that would allow me to
fire back? Or is that asking for trouble?

Jarndyce and Jarndyce:

Like many wars, this one just might have
no winner nor end ...

But the good guys are always fighting back
from the edge ...

Long term stalemate ... In the mean time
a lot of innocent bystanders are going to


I voted good guys, but that's because
my computer is armed to the hilt with
every conceivable weapon.

But I can't argue with those who say it
is, and will always be, a cat and mouse

Avenged Sevenfold:

I thought it was a frivolous poll.

Why is it about Good and Bad?

Who's to say what's good or what's bad?

These are all personal adjectives to
describe typically what one likes
or dislikes.

I actually think the "bad" guys are doing
all of us a favor by throwing problem
areas into relief. It's too bad their
counterparts aren't equally gifted in
that regard.

Ultimately I think neither side will win this
war. I expect it to continue till kingdom come.