Virtual Crime

Why isn’t cyberspace a sanctuary from the real world’s problems? New Scientist reports that a man has been arrested for using unbeatable bots in an online computer game to attack and mug the virtual avatars of human players. After stealing their virtual valuables, he turned around and sold them on an online auction site.

The article mentions rumors about escalating bot wars and organized syndicates behind other virtual attacks. But another article, this time on Wired, suggests that we might want to be careful before jumping to conclusions. Is this an isolated case or the end of Internet innocense (it was never innocent). In the Wired article, the reporter wonders where all the evidence is for organized crime and terrorist being behind pirated media.

Are we creating monsters where none exist? The answer will likely be yes. We do that all the time. But some monsters truly do exist, and it is certain that those who commit crime in the real world will not hesitate to do so in cyberspace. Where all this leads puts the “future” in the future.