Cybercriminals big and small

Hacking isn’t a kid’s game anymore. It’s big business. Online black markets are flush with stolen credit card data, driver’s license numbers, and malware, the programs that let hackers exploit the security weaknesses of commercial software. Cybercriminals have become an organized bunch; they use peer-to-peer payment systems just like they’re buying and selling on eBay, and they’re not afraid to work together.

Read How Does The Hacker Economy Work? from Information Week

Today, cyberscams are the fastest-growing criminal niche. Scores of banks and e-commerce giants, from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM ) to walmart.com (WMT ), have been hit, sometimes repeatedly, by hackers and online fraud schemes. The 2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey estimated annual losses to all types of computer crime — including attacks of viruses and other “malware,” financial fraud, and network intrusions — at $67 billion a year. Of the 2,066 companies responding to the survey, 87% reported a security incident. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which says identity theft is its top complaint, on May 10 created an Identity Theft Task Force following an executive order signed by President George W. Bush.

Read Meet The Hackers from BusinessWeek

Karl and other ordinary citizens are being widely recruited by international crime groups to serve as unwitting collaborators — referred to as mules — in Internet scams to convert stolen personal and financial data into tangible goods and cash. Cybercriminals order merchandise online with stolen credit cards and ship the goods overseas — before either the credit card owner or the online merchant catches on. The goods then are typically sold on the black market.

Read Cybercrooks lure citizens into international crime from the USA Today

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Filed under Cybercrime, Networks, P2P (Peer to Peer), Virtual Communities

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