Here’s an interesting criminal activity that combines clever security design with the most evil side of human nature. As it seems to be growing at an extreme rate — harassment offenses have doubled since 2001 — it also represents a potential security opportunity.
“Organized Stalking” consists of groups of volunteer bullies loosely networked with each other around the globe. It seems the groups originally recruited as a “Project Mayhem” type activity, a way for blue-collar joes to deliver justice to people they didn’t like. Within a few years, the networks became efficient enough to thoroughly demolish the average person’s hope of a happy life.
However, it quickly turned into something rather different: nowadays some 70% of their victims are perfectly innocent people, selected because they would be easy to destroy. (The group leaders still tell their people the victims are nasty sorts, which suggests the use of innocents is primarily a way of keeping them in training. Apologies if this comes as a rude shock to some of you! Sadly, the front-liners in any ‘real world’ covert activity get lied to perhaps more than anyone but an oversight committee.)
As it seems “organized stalking” has gone from a low-level rumble to a major roar (some 10% of collers to crime victims’ hotlines these days are targets of this), it seems there may be an opportunity on the horizon. Most people aren’t like me: they spend their youth playing games, not reading security books, and get interested in high-level security only when they absolutely have to be. But in this case, that means a large population who are suddently very interested in defensive security on a strikingly sophisticated level.