To Catch a Thief

Cyberspace has an unusual effect on our perception of acceptable behaviour. For example there’s a phenomenon researchers term “the disinhibition effect” that encourages Internet users to behave in ways they wouldn’t dare contemplate in real life. There’s also an unfortunate tendency to glamorize hi-tech crime, to the extent that a successful hacker or fraudster can make a fine living out of security consultancy and appearance fees. So it was no surprise to find Frank Abagnale, a one-time convicted fraudster, giving a keynote address at last week’s RSA Conference in London, which boasts “keynotes delivered by the industry’s most respected leaders and innovators”. It’s a sign of the times.

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