Sunday, September 20, 2009

CNN on Cybercrime

CNN had a great article on Cybercrime last Thursday. Did you know that the number of NEW Web Security Threats Tripled this year?

Yup...we are now looking at a mere 1.7 Million Threats. Let me put that in perspective for you...

If I were to do a unique post on each threat...assuming each post took 30 minutes...and assuming I worked 12 hours a day...7 days a week for 365 days a would take me a mere 194 years before I was done. (that would be me...pictured on the right...years before completion)

Put another way, if I actually had started this project on September 17th, 1815, I still would not be finished. (What's that? are correct...I would've been done on September 17th 1815...considering the number of Web threats I would have needed to post about back then, but you get my drift)

So don't be looking for me to even start...not gonna duet..not even one. After all, it''s a hellava lot easier to surmise all 1.7 million threats with just one post, in "three simple words"...

"Don't Type...Swipe!

Here are a couple of excerpts...starting with a basic warning. By the way, I wish the media would start calling "Enter" "Type"! Don't Enter...Swipe! doesn't rhyme...

"Cybercriminals can see what you enter (type) on your screen
and steal your credit card information or bank account information."

Cybercrime: A (not so) secret underground economy

Cybercriminals are making a killing off of stolen identities, creating their own market for  buying and selling credit card and bank account information on the cheap.
Cybercrime has become a rapidly growing underground business built by savvy criminals, who buy and sell valuable stolen financial information from millions of unsuspecting Internet users every year in an on online black market.

"Most cybercriminals are very, very interested in financial gain by compromising customer accounts," said FBI special agent Austin Berglas, who supervises the Bureau's New York Internet crimes squad. "Believe it or not, there are people who fall victim to their scams, and we see it every day."

Because cybercriminals are so skilled at hacking into thousands of computers every day, the crime is potentially a billion-dollar business. If every stolen credit card and bank account had been wiped clean last year, that would have netted cybercriminals some $8 billion, according to data from Symantec, maker of the Norton antivirus software.

As a result of the lucrative payout, more and more online criminals are entering the game. In fact, the number of new Internet security threats rose nearly three-fold last year to 1.7 million.

Those cyber attacks mostly come from malware, or malicious software, that hands control of your computer, and anything on it or entered into it, over to the bad guys without you even knowing it. The most common forms of malware
include keystroke logging, spyware, viruses, worms and Trojan horses.

"Credit cards and bank account information made up 51% of the goods advertised on the underground economy last year, up from 38% in 2007. Credit cards are most popular because they're the cheapest stolen commodity."

Security software also helps, but it far from solves the problem. To avoid detection, many cybercriminals will send out just a handful of viruses before modifying the code and sending it out again.

"The truth is that 'fingerprint' security technology is no longer effective," said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of product development at Symantec. "The bad guys figured out how to get around our technology."

Editor's Side Note: Speaking of device fingerprinting, Avivah Litan, a Gartner VP and analyst who focuses on financial fraud...said "the technology has's not foolproof at all," "If a cyber criminal takes over your browser, it won't work." 

And for those of you who may believe that I've been blowing this out of proportion (the fact that the web is not safe for financial transactions unless done "outside the browser space" and "instantaneously encrypted) " I've got three things to say to you.  "Don't Type"...Swipe.  (or if you are a member of the media) "Do Not Enter!" 

I assure you I'm not blowing this out of proportion.  I'm coming from help here.  In fact, I'd give the "shirt off my back" to help people comprehend just how unsafe it is to enter/type card numbers into a box on a merchant's checkout...  

What size would you like?

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