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Lucrative Malware Economy Needs to be Strongly Tackled

According to a warning from Philip Reitinger, the Head of US National Cyber-security Center, a lot more needs to be done to eradicate the lucrative marketing of malicious software that pose an increased danger to consumers' personal data and the government's sensitive networks, as reported by Inquirer on June 17, 2009.

Reitinger was answering an interview after being assigned the responsibility at the Center in March 2009. According to him, the dissemination of botnets (computers hijacked with malware to harvest sensitive data) now forms a part of the "underground market economy", which is unleashing attacks.

He said that there was a big community of criminals who were related to organized cyber offense. He further added that hackers not just amassed bot-infected PCs, but also sold the resultant botnets in an underground market for cyber crime.

Reitinger said that it was observed that botnet attacks were a risk to the capabilities of national government.

His comments come after few weeks of the US President Barack Obama's revelation of an appraisal of a policy on cyber security. He warned that the digital infrastructure of the country was far from being safe or resilient towards online crime as well as state-backed infiltrations.

Security experts state that there has been an increase in online threats for quiet sometime. Although there is a rise in government capabilities, it is obvious that the same do not any longer meet the needs.

In fact, reports have shown that cyber attacks targeted the US F-35 fighter jet schemes and the country's electricity grid amidst hushed talks that these received the foreign governments' support.

Besides, the experts explained that there was certainly a trading place for botnets where people sold and purchased bots so that any person could connect to the Internet and stage a DOS attack against XYZ by paying someone else for carrying it out. The buying and selling of malware was proliferating hackers' abilities whatever were their motives. It was also getting increasingly difficult to track down the sources of attacks.

Thus, Reitinger suggested for global co-operation as well as government-implemented procedures that would enhance web-security and businesses' online ID checks.

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