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Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Ever since the Internet emerged from the world of academia and into the world-of-the-rest-of-us, its growth trajectory has been shadowed by the emergence of a grey economy that has thrived on the opportunities for enrichment that an open, globally connected infrastructure has made possible.

In the early years, cybercrime was clumsy, consisting mostly of extortion rackets that leveraged blunt computer network attacks against online casinos or pornography sites to extract funds from frustrated owners.

Over time, it has become more sophisticated, more precise: like muggings morphing into rare art theft. The tools of the trade have been increasingly refined, levering ingenuous and constantly evolving malicious software (or malware) with tens of thousands of silently infected computers to hide tracks and steal credentials, like credit card data and passwords, from millions of unsuspecting individuals.

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At noon EST on Friday, Nov. 18, join Ron Deibert director of the Citizen Lab, part of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, and Nart Villeneuve and Rafal Rohozinski of the SecDev Group for a live discussion on the state of the Internet.

Part of the team of Canadian researchers that revealed the existence of GhostNet, a network of more than 1,200 infected computers worldwide, Mr. Deibert, Mr. Rohozinski and Mr. Villeneuve have gained an international reputaion as cyber sleuths. Their most recent report on the Koobface worm, has just been released.

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