back to article Rudd-y hell, dark web! Amber alert! UK Home Sec is on the war path for stealthy cyber-crims

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd has launched a crackdown on criminals who exploit the dark web. As part of a £9m fund, law enforcement’s response will be ramped up to tackle those who use the darker recesses of the web for illegal activities, such as the selling of firearms, drugs, malware and people. More than £5m will …

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Unhappy

Lots of our money being spent

But not a word on exactly how they propose to implement this.

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Re: Lots of our money being spent

Actually, a trivial amount of money being spent.

According to different government funded bodies, "cyber crime" costs between £11bn and £29bn a year, so throwing a one-off donation of £50m across the 40 plus police forces and associated bodies is not really going to deliver a lot. In fact, I'll wager nothing other than a few pamphlets and "task forces".

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Re: Lots of our money being spent

"A trivial amount of money being spent" basically sums up the government/police approach to tackling cyber-crime. On the few occasions when I've had some interesting and solid info (IP addresses etc) to pass on about some phishing or actual attempted fraud, the only reply the local force give is "not us guv" (well, not us gwboi, actually) - they then point you at some London-based cyber-crime reporting unit, who don't actually do anything either, although they make their info available to the Met, who probably ignore it as well.

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Re: Lots of our money being spent

“ ...they then point you at some London-based cyber-crime reporting unit...”

Makes sense to be fair to have a centralised info sec crime unit. Specialisation is very important in complex matters. The fact it’s in London is irrelevant. The fact there is basically one place that deals with it is not.

There are other forces with good capability - Durham force for example is surprisingly effective in that area. Other forces just don’t have the skills, time or money. I’d rather my case got reported to someone with specific responsibility for dealing with it, rather than my local force spiking it as they had no clue what I was talking about.

There’s also the issue of knowledge sharing. Info sec crime is rarely perpetrated on your door step (there are example though). If 40 forces have a bit of intel each on a scammer chances are the scammer gets away with it. Give the bigger picture to one force and something might come of it.

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Re: Lots of our money being spent

But not a word on exactly how they propose to implement this.

Undoubtedly they will attach the appropriate hash tags(*).

(*) ™ Amber Rudd.

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Re: Lots of our money being spent

I'll wager nothing other than a few pamphlets and "task forces"

And plenty of jollies for the PPE types who infest the carpeted corridors of Whitehall.

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Re: Lots of our money being spent

Dead easy,

just set up the #necessary

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Re: Lots of our money being spent

"Actually, a trivial amount of money being spent."

To put in context just how trivial this amount is - in 2010-11, total police spending (for England and Wales) was £13.6 billion. In 2014-15, total police spending was £11.7 billion. Exact current figures aren't available, but estimates say spending has basically remained about the same (central government cuts being offset by increased council tax), equating to a further cut in real terms due to inflation. A one-off pile of £50 million is utterly irrelevant given cuts of over £2 billion per year.

https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/bn208.pdf

Edit: That's not to say I actually disagree with Wil Godfrey, he's just missed half the story. The problem isn't that they're throwing money at things without any plans on how to use it, the problem is that they don't have a plan or a meaningful amount of money.

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Kingpin or strike.

My only and last word on the matter. We either tackle the cause of wealth and opportunity disparity or we attempt to remedy the symptoms. Everybody understands the result of poverty, however we see to be unable to escape the thrall. It doesn't have to be this way. I'd also wager there's a lack of investment in prevention of cyber-fraud within our financial institutions, even though they're most at risk. #alphabetaepsilon

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Re: Kingpin or strike.

Treating the symptoms rather than the cause.

I see this everywhere. You can measure the symptoms, so they're relatively easy to "treat" and show that they're being treated by using statistics. Causes require real work to both determine and remedy, and are often cultural and therefore too long-term or too difficult to tackle.

Treating symptoms is a politicians bread and butter because you can treat symptoms forever and thus suckle at its teat long-term. Treating causes tends to be unpopular because the 'common folk' may not be able to understand the frequently complex relationship between cause and symptom, so it ain't a vote-winning / promotional exercise.

Replace "politician" with "manager" and the above remains true.

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Re: Kingpin or strike.

The trouble is that, while we can generally reach some kind of consensus as to which "symptoms" are bad and should be opposed, there is no general agreement about what is the "cause" of those symptoms.

People who firmly believe that they know the root of problems are called "radicals" (from the Latin 'radix', meaning 'root', referring to the 'root cause'). Radical feminists think "patriarchy" is the root of all injustice, radical Islamists think it's "failure to subject ourselves to divine law', radical Christians think the same but differently.

Most reasonable people, frankly, don't think they can identify a "root" - and will strenuously resist the efforts of those who say they can, because for the most part those people are nucking futs.

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Re: Kingpin or strike.

Lets try a few root causes.

Lack of education for those that fall out of the "easy to teach" category.

Lack of career prospects for those that have fallen out of the above.

Lack of youth services, leaving to boredom. Boredom leads to petty crime and leaves youngsters open to exploitation by other criminals.

Lack drug treatment clinics

Lack of help for the homeless.

Lack of opportunities for ex-cons

Lack of funding for social services to do intervention work

Lack of alcohol treatment programmes

Lack of gambling addition treatment programs.

And god forbid we should ever even think of suggesting that maybe if we tackled low level paedophilia (those that are attracted to children, but have committed no crime) as an addiction or illness, rather the "burn them at the stake" mentality.

Maybe if we spent 10th of the annual crime and punishment budget on prevention and treatment, it may actually have an effect. Not within a year, not with 5, but maybe 10 or 20.

But of course, you can't measure non-crime.

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Holmes

Re: Kingpin or strike.

Not sure how the above relate to Cyber Crime. Are there really that many cyber criminals that fit the above "broken life" profile?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kingpin or strike.

Or the real root causes:

Shite parenting

Poor life choices

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Re: Kingpin or strike.

"My only and last word on the matter. We either tackle the cause of wealth and opportunity disparity or we attempt to remedy the symptoms."

I can see why you say it's your only word on the matter. You want to leave the hard bit to somebody else.

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Re: Kingpin or strike.

Lack of education for those that fall out of the "easy to teach" category.

Lack of career prospects for those that have fallen out of the above.

There seem to be career prospects in such fields as politics. The last few Home Secretaries provide examples.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kingpin or strike.

"Or the real root causes:

Shite parenting

Poor life choices"

If you have parent who are ill educated, on the dole, with little prospects getting drunk and beating the crap out of each other, this then becomes the base level for the kids, who then go onto being ill educated, on the dole, with little prospects getting drunk and beating the crap out of each other, whose kids then.....

And how do you break that cycle? By many of the things I listed.

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Re: Kingpin or strike.

A lot of kids who had shite childhoods grow up to be useful generous productive members of society. And some kids who had it easy turned into evil individuals. Some things don't have a simple fix.

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They find £50m down the back of the sofa for 'cyber crime.' At £40,000 per officer per year, that could put another 145 full-time police officers on the job for the next decade. I think 145 officers doing some good old-fashioned policing investigating offline crimes may be more useful. Perhaps they could even start solving a few muggings and burglaries rather than just filling in their notebook and disappearing.

Too much police effort is being focused on the 'sexy' crimes that make headlines, rather than the far more common but dull ones.

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Yeah but this is the woman who thinks cutting police resources by 40% has no effect on actual policing - ahh apparently she read history which explains a whole lot about her lack of understanding WRT cause and effect.

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Hashtag DropInTheOcean

"They find £50m down the back of the sofa for 'cyber crime".

£50m ? Well, that's the ad campaign sorted then, drinks all round !

The muffled laughter and running water you can hear is the collective response of #cybercriminals #wetting #themselves #laughing.

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Anonymous Coward

> ahh apparently she read history which explains a whole lot about her lack of understanding WRT cause and effect.

Much as I dislike Amber Rudd ... speaking as someone who has studied both history and computer science at degree level, history isn't about regurgitating a sequence of events and dates, but the reasoning as to why event A led to event B (or the circumstances and events that led to something happening) - it's primarily critical reasoning.

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"... it's primarily critical reasoning...."

Once upon a time in the UK, all further and higher level education was basically this.

Well except art ;-)

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" why event A led to event B"

While you're here then , can you give me , in a nutshell , what the hell WW1 was all about?

I've recently lost faith in the Franz Ferdinand explanation.

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Mushroom

The king of Germany was jealous of all his realtives who had big empires (such as the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's who 'ruled' Britian) and he didn't . So when the oppertunity presented itself to build an empire, he took it.

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Windows

Well except art ;-)

In the dim and distant past when I was at Leicester Polytechnic trying to do my IT HND I nearly got driven to violence by the arty types bemoaning their 20 hours of weekly workload..

We had a minimum of 40 hours of lectures plus about another 20 hours of work outside the lectures.

In fact, I blame the arty types for causing me to give up studyiing and concentrating on sleeping, reading, drinking and playing D&D instead.

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I've recently lost faith in the Franz Ferdinand explanation.

"A bullet to the head causes difficulties"?

(It's pretty much accepted that the killing of the Austro-Hungarian emperor was a symptom of the underlying reasons for WW1 and not a trigger. The war would have happened anyway, just a bit later since there were nationalistic and expansionist pressures going on everywhere, much like today. And on that cheery thought...)

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"history isn't about regurgitating a sequence of events and dates, but the reasoning as to why event A led to event B (or the circumstances and events that led to something happening) - it's primarily critical reasoning."

I agree. So how do you explain Amber Rudd?

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Boffin

We had a minimum of 40 hours of lectures plus about another 20 hours of work outside the lectures.

You were lucky! when i was doing my HND in engineering , we had to get up half an hour before we went to bed , do 60 hours of lectures ,20 hours on t'lathe, then put 't treadle back on t'mill , then our lecturers would beat us to death with incorrectly answered calculus & differention tests.

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Anonymous Coward

They'll be buying those devices that can rip the phones data there and then.

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Yay!

A "cyber app"! That's what we need!

I hope she has the necessary hashtags.

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Anonymous Coward

Will this "cyber app" have encryption?

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It will be developed using the standard government Cyber Resources Application Procedures methodology.

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"Will this "cyber app" have encryption?"

Have you seen Amber (C)rudd's other comments about encryption? Surely if it is true that we are all equal in the law, then she will hold all of the keys for the encryption to ensure she and her carefully selected partners (anyone that has a RIPA exemption, which includes everyone entitled to a .gov.uk email address, including your bin man) can access any of the apps data for investigation purposes.

Just a side note, this ladies understanding of technology is deplorable, her understanding of law is even worse, which is sort of scary when you consider she is the Home Secretary.

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Will this "cyber app" have encryption?

Don't be silly - only terriorists use encryption!

(And yes, it will have backdoors for all the various security services. And, once the methodologies leak, every black-hat in the world.)

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seems uk has same problem as poland with cyber..

Anyway, given uk record i thought they were planning to criminalize tor usage

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This is just another excuse for the police to stay off the streets where major crime takes place. It is also virtue-signalling on the part of the home sectary.

Nothing will change anyway.

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Big Brother

US Navy commissioned TOR from EFF

Amber Rudd doesn't need me to tell you but, leave here alone, she's doing her job.

Put your job in the spotlight and see what chaff you get.

The ISSUE is and has recently been the host of unreported zero-days, backdoors and attack tools released from NSA and other agencies around the world via whatever method they escaped into the wild with.

Security starts at home, Home Secretary.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: US Navy commissioned TOR from EFF

@Data source

Tit.

Some of my jobs have necessarily been very much behind closed curtains out of necessity.

Some of my jobs have been in positions where failure would be -very= public indeed.

However, none of my jobs have been of the type where I'm responsible for things like - you know - creating legal frameworks and laws, policing and resourcing and other such things.

The fact is that this woman is dangerous. Her lack of understanding about the technologies she spouts off, combined with her apparently failing to make 2 + 2 = 4 (cull front line police and watch crimes go up... but the two are in no way related...ffs a child could grasp that concept) make her both very dangers and frankly in a job she is incapable of doing.

Nothing to do with her being in the spotlight

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Re: US Navy commissioned TOR from EFF

her both very dangers and frankly in a job she is incapable of doing

In other words, a perfect Home Secretary for T. May. If there is a success, the PM can crow about the success of "her" government. If stuff goes badly wrong, then there is plenty of ammunition to get rid up HomeSec 2.0 and upgrade to HS 3.0.

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Amber alert

El Reg asked the Home Secretary what the government was doing to ensure continuity of co-operation and the exchange of information post Brexit.

"Being able to share data across boundaries is incredibly important in fighting cybercrime and other crime,"Rudd said, adding that the UK government wants to ensure continuity of co-operation. nothing ®

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Anonymous Coward

"over nine million"

Jeez, Ireland's PTB managed an annual budget of 5 million for their "Strategic Communications Unit" (totally not a Ministry of Information), and that's with a population considerably less than a tenth that of the UK's...

Amber Alert? As if your country needs any more ...

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Anonymous Coward

Up the Cyber Pass

We spent the £50m, but we can't tell you how.

Trust us.

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Re: Up the Cyber Pass

£5M of it is going to consultants, the rest to Capita.

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Anonymous Coward

STASI

Quote: "...stealthy cyber-crims..."

*

The taxpayer is spending billions of pounds sterling to support the STASI in Cheltenham (AKA GCHQ). This illegal operation is profoundly un-democratic, intruding as it does into the private affairs of sixty million UK citizens.

*

This "intiative" by Amber Rudd is simply window-dressing -- doing nothing, while our democracy burns to the ground in Cheltenham.

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Black Helicopters

Re: STASI

Sorry, but GCHQ isn't an illegal operation.

Whenever questioned, they trot out the line that goes “Our work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Service Commissioners and the Intelligence and Security Committee.”

What they don't say, is that this legal policy and framework is pretty much the words:- "Oh, go on then."

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Re: STASI

this legal policy and framework is pretty much the words:- "Oh, go on then."

You missed a bit: "but don't get caught". And, if you do get caught, make sure that you are well supplied with sacrifical scapegoats in order to protect those actually giving the orders.

A few rouge engineers will do (other colours are available)

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Silk Road

When that chap was incarcerated for the rest of his life in the USA for running the Silk Road, Radio 4 interviewed and ex senior drugs squad officer.

One of the things he spoke about was the unintended side effects of how the "dark web" has actually made the illegal drugs trade significantly safer.

The reasons he gave included:

Market forces - because purchasers had much greater choices of suppliers, said suppliers had to up their game in terms of the quality of their products. The direct result of this was that fewer harmful substances were being used to "cut" the drugs with;

Remote buying - because purchasers were not having to head out down dark alleys in the dead of night, there were no issues of deals gone wrong. Fewer victims of muggings and beatings etc.

This, in the same way that websites have made things safer for ladies who peddle their affectionate wares not having to do it on street corners or under the control of violent pimps.

Rather than just keep throwing money at "problems" why don't governments start to have grown up conversations about what they should and shouldn't actually be policing and how?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Silk Road

Yeah thats fine for the drugs (and 'affectionate waresa' )on the dark web , They're the fun part.

With only 50m to go on , perhaps they could leave the drugs and concentrate on the guns , hitmen , pedophilia and slavery.

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Re: Silk Road

Excellent point. I would love to see a government that would use a harm reduction strategy when it comes to crimes relating to what people do with their bodies. Putting drugs in your body or selling it for sex might not be the best idea, but as long as you're not causing harm to others you shouldn't be going to jail. Tackle these things as a health issue, make it easier for people to get help without worrying about getting in trouble and you'd be doing more good than locking them up.

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