There is no such thing as Ethical Yahoo Yahoo in the sense that there is nothing ethical about the criminal practice of obtaining by false pretense, valuable items that belong to other people. Yet there are those who imagine that asking a known thief to provide security for the commonwealth, has some merit. The idea is based on a principle in which a known thief is engaged to provide some kind of security for a community that has suffered untold harm from the activities of fraudsters. That with some kind of incentive, persons with those ‘peculiar skills,’ may be ‘encouraged’ to channel those skills to ethical and productive uses. In ways and means that strengthen the security of our institutions rather than compromise them and make them vulnerable to further abuse. Of course, this is not a one-size-fit-all-solution, to the Yahoo Yahoo menace. It is only a trigger for conversation around a potential element that could further complement existing elements in the bouquet of tested solutions to the menace.
We have seen and heard reports of Yahoo, Yahoo Boys who have found a way to bypass security measures put in place by certain financial services providers. For example, some of those who were caught by our security agencies, have revealed how they can use another person’ SIM card to access the person’s bank account and conduct fraudulent transactions on the account. Some of those videos and accounts may be found online.
Moving forward, what if the relevant authorities and institutions created some kind of ‘rewards program’ that magnets persons from criminal Yahoo Yahoo, and takes them to ethical Yahoo Yahoo, where they are encouraged to share constantly, new discoveries of vulnerabilities in all the financial systems. Whenever vulnerabilities are identified, persons will take advantage of the situation. It is human nature. But with the right argument and incentive, one may re-wire and reroute a seemingly natural response.
The army of hackers continue to grow, like the army of Yahoo Yahoo Boys. The conditions favoring an increase in the population of either army, are undeniable in many parts of the world. These conditions are not things that will disappear suddenly by a mere wish. They require a thoughtful and comprehensive potpourri of solutions.
The Vulnerability Rewards Programme in Singapore, is the kind of idea being proposed here for the Ethical Yahoo Yahoo initiative. It is one that would see the right institutions reward persons who can provide undeniable proof of vulnerabilities in most of our secured systems.