World's Top 'Net Crime Fighters Meet In Vancouver

More than 400 of the world's top internet crime fighters are in Vancouver this week for the 20th annual conference of FIRST, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams.

Under the banner "Crossing Borders: Towards the Globalisation of Security", they'll deliberate measures to tighten security and improve international collaboration at a time when cyber-crime is costing corporations $-billions worldwide, and individuals are running a greater risk than ever before of having their identities stolen and their bank accounts raided online.

According to FIRST conference chair Reneaué Railton: "Small cells of criminals, terrorists or malcontents can now wreak devastation out of all proportion to their size, bringing internet-dependent organisations to their knees, holding them to ransom, invading national security systems, and paralysing or disrupting national service infrastructures."

The conference launches officially tomorrow [June 25] with a keynote address from Scott Charney, Microsoft's corporate vice president for trustworthy computing. His place on the keynote podium will be taken on Thursday by John Stewart, Cisco Systems' Chief Security Officer.

Founded in 1990, FIRST is a non-profit body which consists of internet emergency response teams from 194 corporations, government bodies, universities and other institutions from across the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. It leads the world's fight-back against cyber-crime, sabotage and terrorism, and promotes co-operation between IERT's and law enforcement agencies.

The conference runs until Friday [JUNE 27] at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Vancouver was chosen, say the organisers, because "its position as a gateway between the Americas and Asia-Pacific makes it an appropriate venue for our transnational theme."

For more about the conference, including programme, speakers and
sponsors, go to www.first.org/conference/2008