Over and over again we've heard security vendors and government workers warn that hackers currently have the upper hand in their ongoing game of cat and mouse with the law enforcement agencies.
Big names like F-Secure, RSA and even the UK GCHQ have openly said, current privacy, geographical, political and even educational roadblocks mean that things are easier for the blackhats than the whitehats.
After all, what realistically can any law enforcement agency do when it links a cyber scam or black marketplace to a Russian or Chinese gang safely nestled in their extradition blocking homelands?
In these situations, the best companies can do is work to remotely take down the operation, either by working with local law enforcement to seize the servers or mount a sinkhole operations.
This tactic has been used to great effect by numerous companies, like Microsoft and Symantec which recently reported successfully taking down the Bamital botnet by seizing control of its command and control servers.
However, while a positive move on the part of Microsoft, these takedowns are only band-aids to the wider problem posed by cyber crime.
After all, as demonstrated by the recently resurrected Kelihos botnet, following the takedowns there's nothing really stopping the gangs moving on and starting another cyber scam.
For this reason, when law enforcement do catch one of the cyber bad guys, we expect them to keep pretty tight tabs on them, making sure they don't get the chance to restart their nefarious activities.
However, it seems we've been giving law enforcement a wee bit too much credit.
On Monday it came to light that the teenager author of the stolen credit card store GhostMarket, Nicohlas Webber, managed to not only get accepted into a prison IT class, but also hack into the prison's network.
Even more bewildering reports have emerged suggesting the teacher running the class was never made aware of the youth's criminal record - hence how he was able to get on a computer in the first place.
It seems evident that this embarrassing turn of events could have easily been avoided it law enforcement and the prison service had shared information with one another.
Luckily this fact isn't lost on government officials, with both the UK Cabinet Office and European Commission having introduced plans to increase information sharing between law enforcement, government and industry regarding cyber threats.
Here's hoping these policies are introduced sooner rather than later so we don't let more hacking masterminds continue their schemes from behind bars, otherwise what's the point in any of the activity to try and stop them?
Written by V3's Alastair Stevenson
Twitter handle: @Monkeyguru
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