Kids Diss E-mail, MySpace Dominates and Cyber-Attacks Grow More Dangerous

Kids Diss E-mail, MySpace Dominates and Cyber-Attacks Grow More Dangerous

by / March 3, 2008

Outlook is Out
Short message service and instant messaging are fast becoming the writing tools of choice for teens and young adults. A poll of more than 2,000 South Korean middle- school, high-school and college students taken recently in Seoul revealed that more than two-thirds rarely or never use e-mail. Furthermore Korea's digital generation is ahead of the Japanese in the uptake of new technology, according to the poll.

Fifty percent of South Koreans are signed up to their country's version of Facebook, called Cyworld, which went online almost a decade before other social networking sites. For most young South Koreans, e-mail is fit only for addressing the old or for business and formal missives. - The Sydney Morning Herald
No Escape
The UK government is considering a plan to implant prisoners with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags containing data on identity, address and criminal record. The RFID tags, about the size of two grains of rice, would be injected under the skin and scanned by a reader. There are also proposals to link the RFID tags to a larger GPS device to monitor the location of high-risk prisoners. The Ministry of Justice confirmed that it is considering the proposal as part of plans to modernize the prison system.

The RFID proposals are designed to address problems with the UK's existing tagging system which uses a transmitter strapped to the ankle. More than 2,000 of the 17,000 offenders fitted with the ankle tags have escaped by tampering with the device or simply cutting it off. -

Top 10 Cyber-Security Menaces
The SANS Institute recently gathered 12 cyber-security veterans to compile a list of the attacks most likely to cause substantial damage during 2008. Here are their picks:

  1. More Web site attacks that exploit browser vulnerabilities - especially on trusted Web sites.
  2. Increasing sophistication and effectiveness in botnets.
  3. Cyber-espionage efforts by well resourced organizations looking to extract large amounts of data - particularly using targeted phishing.
  4. Mobile phone threats, especially against iPhones and android-based (a Linux-based platform for cell phones) phones; plus VoIP.
  5. Insider attacks.
  6. Advanced identity theft from persistent bots.
  7. More malicious spyware.
  8. Web application security exploits.
  9. Increasingly sophisticated social engineering, including blending phishing with VoIP and event phishing.
  10. Supply chain attacks infecting consumer devices (USB thumb drives, GPS systems, photo frames, etc.) distributed by trusted organizations.

Critical Factors
Eight business issues could have a dramatic impact on state and federal government in 2008, according to a Deloitte report. The firm's 2008 Industry Outlook: A Look Around the Corner predicts the following trends will cut across multiple sectors of the U.S. economy, including government, this year:

  • Globalization    
  • Convergence
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Rising energy and health-care costs
  • Transparency
  • Technology use and integration
  • The 2008 presidential election
  • Talent management 


MySpace Dominates
MySpace continues to hold a big lead in membership numbers over rival social networking Web sites. The margin is shrinking slightly, however.


Karen Stewartson

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.