Collaboration

Does peer pressure work to solve Internet security problems?

Companies and individuals are using peer pressure tactics in an attempt to make the Internet safer. But does it work? Join our discussion.


Peer pressure has left high school and joined the Internet. In a sort of kinder, gentler style of vigilantism, peer pressure tactics are being used to persuade others to tighten their online security.

But is peer pressure working? We realize that by asking that question, we’re opening up the old “government-intervention versus self-regulation” debate, but if self-regulation is ever going to work, the technology community must assess its progress.
We pose this question to the TechRepublic community: Will peer pressure work? Post below to join a discussion on whether you think peer pressure is an effective approach to increasing Internet security.
Guerilla tactics
How is peer pressure being used?

Recently, Project Gargimel released the names of 4,000 networks—private and public—that could be used to launch “Smurf” attacks. According to SecurityFocus News, Project Gargimel is a survey of networks conducted by Brian Gemberling, a 23-year-old networking expert. (Project Gargimel was named for Gargimel, an evil cartoon wizard who was always trying to catch the Smurfs in the 80s cartoon series.)

In May, TechRepublic covered another peer pressure effort sponsored by ICSA.net called the Alliance for Internet Security. (See “Peer pressure: Alliance hopes to prevent further DDoS attacks.”) The Alliance works on a volunteer basis. Companies who join agree to download a program that tests their networks for DDoS attack vulnerabilities.

By the beginning of September, the Alliance had attracted 2,911 members and tested 7,739,105 systems.

But we wonder: Are companies taking these efforts seriously? Tell us what you think by posting a comment.

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