Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Online crooks getting more professional - Yahoo! News

• The sale of stolen personal information online continues to grow. The United States is the top country for so-called underground economy servers, home to 64 percent of the computers known to Symantec to be places where thieves barter over the sale over verified credit card numbers, government-issued identification numbers and other data. Germany was second and Sweden ranked third.

• China had the most computers infected by Web robots, or bots — software that performs automated tasks online, such as propagating spam, often without the knowledge or consent of the computer's owner. China had one-third the world's computers conscripted by "bot herders."

• The number of threats caused by malicious code has ballooned. In the first six months of the year, 212,101 new malicious code threats were reported to Symantec, an increase of 185 percent over the previous six months.

But researchers agreed that professional-grade service agreements between cyber criminals and their agents was the most alarming trend.

A small number of malicious "toolkits" — bundles of exploits that allow criminals to customize their own scams and attacks — is responsible for a growing number of attacks.

Only three toolkits were responsible for 42 percent of the 2.3 million so-called 'phishing' messages spotted and blocked by Symantec during the first six months of the year. Crooks use phishing messages to try and steal personal and financial information by tricking people into entering private information into bogus Web sites that look like the sites of legitimate brands such as banks or popular retailers.

Online crooks getting more professional - Yahoo! News

No comments: