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If we can't protect the targets (CVEs until we drop), do we need an Internet police that chases the source aka attackers? I don't like the police/military either, but couldn't that be more economical than making the software 99.99% secure?

Here is my extension of the question:

Regardless of whether it would work well and whether it ever would, should it be aspired to? With problem solutions for every problem that MechMK1 addressed. Simply a concept that will last for at least several years (manifesto, financing). If crime is internationalised, why not internationalise the police? Who else can I turn to if my SSH or HTTPS port is under attack? I want a police API where I can report IPs. Wouldn't that help others, too, if this stupid part of traffic were to be dropped?

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  • Regarding your edit: Whose laws would the internet police be bound to? China has the highest population of any nation, so should our internet laws explicitly forbid -- on threat of indefinite detention -- the distribution of information that is prohibited by the Chinese government (for example, Tiananmen Square)?
    – Ghedipunk
    Sep 25, 2019 at 18:11
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    Who can you turn to if your SSH port is under attack? Your configuration file. Apparently keyboard login was not disabled, like it should have been.
    – user163495
    Sep 25, 2019 at 18:25
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    There are plenty of places to report malware, viruse-spreading and C&C IPs.
    – Overmind
    Sep 26, 2019 at 5:08
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    Indeed an interesting question but more on the legal/civics side than the information security side. The question has been asked a few times here before.
    – schroeder
    Sep 26, 2019 at 7:40
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    No, most anti-virus companies have sub-sites where you can report such things. There are large companies like CISCO that have centralized systems with large threat databases. From an IT-reporting-knowledge perspective things are going pretty well. You just have to keep yourself informed of the threat; most of the active and all past ones are centralized and known.
    – Overmind
    Sep 26, 2019 at 10:58

1 Answer 1

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This idea is absolutely impractical and has no chance of ever taking place in real life, at least not if the geopolitical situation remains somewhat stable.

It's a jurisdictional Nightmare

Imagine an attacker from Finland connects to a Swedish proxy service, in order to connect to an infected PC in China, which then in turn sends a command to a C&C server in Russia, to which a computer from the US connects and downloads malware written in Brazil and hosted in Australia, which then in turn causes that PC to send an e-Mail to a server in Austria, which will later be read by a man from Japan.

This scenario includes 9 different jurisdictions, each of which has different governments, laws and regulations. For an "internet police" to work, all of them would have to let them operate in their own country. If you know a thing or two about history, Austrian police not being able to operate in Serbia was one of the factors that started a world war.

Who would fund them?

The internet police would need to be funded. Given how even local police forces, that investigate serious crimes, are often severely underfunded, I highly doubt many countries would jump from joy at the idea of paying even more people. Especially given that the police force would, by definition, mostly not operate in their own territory.

Who would control them?

By essentially making a "world police", who would control them? Where would you go to if you suspected that an internet police officer would violate their obligations? The United Nations? What if they don't come to a consensus?

The entire ordeal is absolutely impractical and not feasible in any way.

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  • Thank you very much for your answer. Instead of (identifying problems and) looking for solutions for each one (with which > 80% would be satisfied), you iron ideas because you see more problems. The solutions to these other problems are not considered at all. Classic. In the end you do nothing at all? Which by chance can be…? ;)
    – uav
    Sep 25, 2019 at 19:23
  • @uav "World peace" also sounds like a good idea in general. But to be more on-topic, I am advocating that things are fine the way they are. Technical threats are best countered by technical solutions. Just like if a guy tries to stab me to death, I don't call 911 and hope they show up in time. I take my handgun and defend myself. Technical problem, technical solution; just different technology.
    – user163495
    Sep 25, 2019 at 21:02
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    @uav You are looking for simple solution that does not exist---and cannot exist because of the reasons provided by MechMK1. You may be unhappy with the answer, but unless you can address every issue (and convince political leaders to accept it)... this is just how things will be.
    – DoubleD
    Sep 25, 2019 at 21:10
  • So you make a DDOS attack when someone tries to retrieve your ../../../etc/passwd file over the web? Really now? To the other concrete head (forgive me the expression), I would like to say: Your statements go in the direction of self-fulfilling prophecy, I criticize that hereby. ;)
    – uav
    Sep 25, 2019 at 22:00
  • @uav No, if someone tries to retrieve my /etc/passwd file, I patch the security hole in my web server that enables them to read local files on my system. I can't help but feel that you are intentionally trying to misunderstand me.
    – user163495
    Sep 25, 2019 at 22:06

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