Snagged a link from I-Hacked.com which goes to an interview with an FBI agent who was undercover for 2 years to ilfiltrate a major cybercriminal group/forum. Amazing read!
(By the way, using a name referenced to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is automatically awesome.)
I find it interesting to hear that cyber criminals often do not match the perception we have of thugs and hooligans and otherwise very scary people who commit crimes. A lot of these guys are, as he said, just misguided people who are otherwise very nice and normal. This should speak loads about how we define and view the moral right/wrong lines these days. Being a physical criminal (not including white collar corporate crime) seems to have certain physical traits or maybe even pyschological (arrogence) ones. You can often “feel” that someone is a criminal just by how they dress, carry themselves, interact with others. Being a criminal in cyberspace may be just as easy, morally, as playing an avatar in Second Life or character in World of Warcraft. (Granted, this will probably change as organized crime brings the physical bluntness into the cyber ranks, as alluded to in the interview.)
One question that didn’t get asked that I would have asked: “Do you work alone undercover or do you have a team of technical experts helping out as well giving you advice and walking you through things like securing the servers?” Really, it would seem easy to turn around and ask your cadre of geeks various questions, since they can’t see into his office. You’d just have to be careful that only one person ever did the “talking.”