Attitudes of Australian information system managers against online attackers
MCB UP Ltd
Business and Public Management
This exploratory research was undertaken to establish a general impression of the attitudes of professionals in business and government to the concept of “cyber‐vigilantism”. It was undertaken as an initial project to provide the context for a larger, formal international survey. Cyber‐vigilantism is the proactive process of responding to information attacks by hackers (from whatever source) with corresponding attacks on them. In short, it is hacking the hackers. The military and intelligence services have developed much of the technology for this. It is bringing the military concept of “information warfare” (Schwartau, 1996; Dearth and Williamson, 1996; Knecht, 1996; Waltz, 1998; Denning, 1999) into the civilian world. The survey was based on an initial, informal survey carried out by Schwartau (1999) using an Internet site to gauge the attitudes of (mostly) US managers toward non‐passive strategies against hackers. The survey, described in this paper, attempts to specifically seek out the attitudes of Australian IT managers to this “offensive” method of information security. To obtain as wide a range as possible, the sample included organisations of as many sizes and industry types as could be found.