|Photo: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications|
“Ninety-nine percent of what you and I deal with when it comes to computer security is motivated by economics,” Savage said. “Data breaches? It’s all about the money. Spam? It’s all about the money. Malware? It’s all about the money. The problem is we are looking at this as a purely technical problem.”Over the years, Savage and colleagues at the Jacobs School and the International Computer Science Institute, an independent nonprofit in Berkeley, have probed the economics of cyber crime. The LA Times explains:
Throughout 2011 and 2012, he and a team of researchers posed as buyers of counterfeit goods sold on the Internet and, by tracking the flow of money in these transactions, showed that only a handful of banks were involved in these activities. Working with a Washington, D.C.-based anti-piracy organization called the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), they helped create a framework whereby brandholders and credit card companies could work together to shut down the counterfeiter's financial accounts, effectively cutting off their economic lifeblood.Full LA Times article here.
More about Savage's work here, here and here.