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Substantial Growth in Organized Cybercrime in 2008

A new research by Verizon Business "2009 Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report" direct attacks on the financial institutions coupled with organized crime has resulted in the increasing number of online records being hacked in 2008, which aggregated more than the cumulative figures of 2004-2007.

Verizon Business highlights that the "highly-skilled" cyber criminals employ their skills only upon successfully gaining access from vulnerabilities or with the default sign-on details.

Moreover, the report highlights that the criminals using a combination of modes accounted for 64% security breaches. In 98% of the successful breaching incidents, the attackers took advantage of a mistake committed by the user and thus, hacked the networks and installed malware on the system to steal sensitive information. Further, the use of customized malware increased more than twice in 2008.

Surprisingly, nearly 85% records out of 285 Million compromised records were breached using customized software, specifically designed to evade the victims' security programs. On the other hand, at some instances, crooks re-engineered their techniques and designed new tools, including memory-scraping malware, in order to steal the system's memory.

Additionally, the study revealed the sophisticated modus operandi used in some of the recent attacks. Research and Intelligence Principal at Verizon Business, Wade Baker, stated criminals are implanting malware on the particular system according to their choice, where it could remain for a longer period of time, as reported by SCMAGAZINE on April 15, 2009.

According to Baker, that's where criminals need to innovate. In order to obtain enormous amount of data, they require to modify their malware. They are running after high-value data, including PIN details, and not merely credit card details.

Besides Baker, Vice President of Research and Intelligence at Verizon Business Security Solutions, Dr. Peter Tippett, said that Eastern Europe is famous as a breeding ground for global organized cybercrime units that were chiefly responsible for most of the breaches in 2008, as reported by The Tech Herald on April 15, 2009.

Tippett further added that there are sufficient evidences that organized crime is largely responsible for the malicious activities purporting from Eastern Europe. He also noted that the efforts of law enforcement authorities resulted into the arrest of a minimum of 15 cyber crooks in 2008.

Related article: Sophisticated Attack Compromised The Guardian’s UK Jobs Website

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