News Analysis: Symantec's new Norton Cybersecurity Institute was organized to serve as a facilitator in partnerships among law enforcement, government, private industry and education to fight online crime in all its forms.
took over the U.S. Capitol visitor's center in Washington May 4 to announce the
launch of the Norton Cybersecurity Institute. The launch of the new program,
which is intended to fight cyber-crime through education of law enforcement,
the courts and investigators, is the culmination of a year's worth of planning.
Palmer, who heads the Norton effort, is based at one of the national centers
for cyber-crime fighting, near Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh. Palmer
is an authority on cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism and on the best means of
asked Palmer whether the United States should be expecting some sort of
cyber-terrorism in retaliation for the killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden.
His response surprised me a little. "It's all crime," he said, "regardless of
who is the Norton Lead Cybersecurity Advisor for the new Norton Cybersecurity
Institute, said that the biggest threat to most people from the bin Laden news
will be criminals who will purport to show photos of the dead terrorist as a
way to appeal to morbid curiosity. Those photos will contain malware.
time there are events like this, cyber-criminals take advantage of this and
exploit people's interest in it," Palmer said. "They quickly adapt technology.
They even take advantage of national tragedies. They know people want to see
pictures, read stories and will open attachments." Palmer said that an
important part of his mission at the Cybersecurity Institute is training
law enforcement officers about this kind of exploitation.
said that the Institute is sponsoring education about emerging threat
initiatives and then putting people who have to deal with those threats in a
room together as a way to encourage cooperation and collaboration. He noted
that in many cases, the Norton Cybersecurity Institute is paying for the travel
expenses of law enforcement officers from foreign countries so that they can
work with the FBI and other U.S. investigators when they're fighting the same
is also working with a number of existing groups with similar aims. Those
groups include the National Cyber Forensic
& Training Alliance (NCFTA), the
Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB), the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the National Center for
Justice and the Rule of Law (NCJRL). Palmer said that the Cybersecurity
Institute is fostering collaboration with these and other groups, and is
providing financial support where it's needed.
Norton Cybersecurity Institute has been in development for a year, but was
formally introduced in Washington on May 4. Palmer is a former Navy JAG officer
and prosecutor who specialized in cyber-crime while serving in the Navy. Palmer
has been active in cyber-crime training for law enforcement since then, and
joined Norton and Symantec to further that work.
Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.
He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.