Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2009 Record Year for Cybercrime

Symantec noted that they saw 51% of all the malicious programs they have ever recorded in 2009! Symantec recorded nearly 3 million malicious programs, such as viruses, trojan horses, malware, and the like, throughout the 12 months of 2009, making it a record year for cybercrime.

In particular, the security firm singled-out the toolkit, Zeus, as having helped to produce the most new threats. Zeus is a high-end toolkit which costs $700, but enterprising young criminals have been able to use it to devastating effect. However, Zeus relies on spam to infect computers, and if you set spam filters in your e-mail program and do not download attachments from people you do not know, there is less a chance of becoming infected by anything built from the toolkit.

Many cybercriminals have taken to scouring social networks to learn more about people, so that they can fine-tune their solicitations and spam e-mails. In particular, they are looking for friends' names, employers and places of business, and other personal information which might allow them to "spoof" an e-mail or message which appears to be from someone you know or trust.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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