For a organisation that analyses 180,000 new malware samples every day, SophosLabs is a remarkably peaceful place. The fight against cybercrime is a well-rehearsed routine.
The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
Five years ago, cyber criminals were generally individual IT experts who had turned to crime. Today, they're professional criminals turning to the internet, hiring the IT talent that they need.
When it comes to online security, can we ever overcome basic human nature? It seems that people are always too trusting, and the bad guys are always getting better at taking advantage of that trust.
Google demands that users of its Google+ social network be identified by their real names. It's a bad policy that's been badly implemented, but is it proof that Google just doesn't get people?
Hacking for political and economic purposes isn't getting the attention it deserves, says McAfee's vice president of threat research Dmitri Alperovitch, who uncovered the Operation Shady RAT hacks.
Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been spruiking coalition broadband policy this month. A core point, he says, is that there are no applications for National Broadband Network (NBN) speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps). Is he right?
"An insider who's gone bad can do more damage to your network than almost any hacker can do from the outside," says Dr Paul Nielsen, director and chief executive officer of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).
It's the consumerisation of the enterprise; employees expect to use Facebook, Twitter and applications beyond the standard operating environment (SOE). How do you manage that securely?
An R18+ classification for computer games is long overdue in Australia and internet filtering based on the Interpol blacklist is "reasonable enough", says legal expert Peter Black. However, he does have concerns.
The cloud has levelled the playing field for business, says Amazon's chief technology officer Dr Werner Vogels. Ten years ago, a start-up needed $5 million. Now, Vogels says, it's "just $50,000 and a coffee shop around the corner".
Google's new social networking platform Google+ is less than a fortnight old, but already people are begging for invitations to the closed beta. Is it time to get on-board? And could it really be a threat to Facebook?
Malware, these days, is so good that it simply has to be produced by professional development teams. What's more, the criminals choose their targets with business-like decisions over expected return on investment.
Australia's mandatory internet filter is at least two years away, but Telstra and Optus are only weeks from implementing their "voluntary" equivalents. Where are we up to with this controversial issue?
A popular Sydney Buses app died when Sydney Transit cut off the data feed after just a few weeks, citing lack of server capacity. Developer Ben Hosken is disappointed, but he's more concerned that developers aren't making enough use of the government data on offer.
LinkedIn's soaring share price after the company's recent IPO is only the most obvious example of the current boom in Silicon Valley. Leading the hype is "gamification", the use of game mechanics in non-game business applications.