GenApple - First Glance at the First Information Brokerage

Internet has become a transfer medium for a lot of new business models, some of which have failed and others which are thriving. In this environment, there is new service called GenApple, which boasts to be the 'first information brokerage in the world'


With a business model similar to E-bay, GenApple facilitates the selling and buying of information. A seller of information offers some information either at a fixed price or a via an auction. The difference from E-bay is that GenApple will act as an Escrow - a third impartial party trusted by both seller and buyer:

  1. GenApple will hold the offered information in a special 'vault' until the trade is concluded, and then let the buyer obtain it from the 'vault'.
  2. Similarly, GenApple will hold the payment money for the seller until the dispute period has passed, in order to facilitate refund in case of a dispute.
This new service opens a whole set of questions and possible security issues - since it deals with a commodity with different characteristics that physical objects:
  1. Information can be abstracted from physical location
  2. Information can be ideally copied many times without any loss and without any evidence that it has been copied
  3. Information can be sniffed during transfer
  4. Information can be accessed/destroyed/corrupted by a malicious attacker
  5. Information can be instrumental to performing illegal activities while never physically being part of the illegal activity
  6. The quality of information can be disputed or misunderstood
GenApple is still in beta, and is currently available for registration only for US based users - an interesting choice which may or may not have to do with US law enforcement agencies being fully capable of prosecuting users in case of trading of confidential information.

Still, the Pandora's box of trading in information is open, and the security community needs to follow the development of this and other similar services with great attention.

GenApple has scheduled it's launch for Monday - 30Th of November 2009. Just before the scheduled launch - on Sunday I'll be talking to Mark Hanson - the founder and CEO of GenApple.

So while GenApple launches, tune in to Shortinfosec for the full transcript of the interview which will be focusing on fraud, encryption and external security!

Talkback and comments are most welcome

Related posts
Interview with GenApple founder
Whisperbot - No thanks, I'll use e-mail
No Privacy - Saw You Cheating on Image Search

No comments:

Designed by Posicionamiento Web