Keeping in mind that CAN‐SPAM Act was passed in 2003, the chart above shows a significant year‐over‐year increase in the number of unique malware signatures. It is growing exponentially from 2003 through 2008.
Tying it Together
We have perverse economic incentives that point to weak information security. We have a global recession that will put skilled IT workers out of work. We are globally connected in every way possible through modern networking. And we have a weak global regulatory and legal framework to prosecute cyber criminals. In addition, the recession is pulling our attention and our resources away from information security needs.
During a recessionary period in the US and other countries, one would expect that certain types of petty crimes such as robbery and muggings would increase in years of economic downturns. We asked the question: Will cyber crime increase in a time of global economic recession? One study by KMPG found that many enterprises believed that the recession put their business at greater risk from out‐of‐work IT workers tempted to join the criminal underground to make ends meet (Kirk, 2009).
I believe that the data are pointing to a perfect cyber storm that is heading our way. We have been vulnerable, and we will be worse off because of the recession and globalization.
It is acknowledged that there are probably many different factors that have resulted in the increase of cyber crime and associated malware, besides just CAN‐SPAM.