JSE fights child abuse images on network

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo
Johannesburg, 28 May 2015
The JSE has adopted NetClean software to help fight the scourge of child sex abuse.
The JSE has adopted NetClean software to help fight the scourge of child sex abuse.

Security solutions distributor, African Risk Mitigation (ARM) has inked a deal with the JSE that will see the exchange implement NetClean ProActive, software used to scan, identify and block child sexual abuse images and videos in real-time.

The JSE says while it has always ensured its security is as watertight as possible, the addition of the software will ensure that not only will child sexual abuse images be blocked from the network, but will allow law enforcement to track down any potential offenders.

Lauren Wain, general manager at ARM, says the software works by comparing images to existing imagery. "NetClean ProActive can stop a single photo or video, both from Internet and USB devices, in contrast to Web filters that only block prohibited addresses."

She adds the JSE adopted NetClean software as it can help fight against the scourge of child sex abuse.

"As a good corporate citizen, and one that takes its role seriously, the JSE felt it was an essential addition to its security setup," says Robin Tucker, head of IT service operations at the JSE.

According to Wain, while child sexual abuse images and videos are a worldwide problem. "Most of us like to think that these heinous individuals are the rare exception, but statistics belie this.

"UN figures estimate that some three-quarters of a million people are looking at this content at any given time. The latest statistics show that one to two people in a thousand are estimated to use the computers in their workplace to view and distribute this type of material."

Even more disturbing, Wain adds, there are approximately five million images involving 100 000 children in online trading networks currently, with new images created and uploaded daily. However, only 3% of these children have been identified.

"ProActive has the ability to alert public sector organisations should any known images or videos of child sex abuse be accessed via work machines, or should they have been downloaded from an organisation's network," says Wain.

"ProActive software employs unique algorithms and image hashing technology to pinpoint and block the content, as opposed to URLs or filenames alone. The image recognition technology then links back to a large database of image fingerprints that are provided by law enforcement agencies. In this way, alerts can be verified as genuine instances of abuse."