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Online Crooks’ Troubles Could Be Worse in 2007

Computer security experts have assessed that the year 2006 was one of dangerous computing and worse may happen in 2007. They say 2006 experienced an unprecedented hike in unsolicited e-mails and a greater sophistication in Internet attacks.

Year 2007 too won't be any different, as banks, financial institutions and shopping centers are likely to emerge as favorite targets of cybercrooks. Since, they are using even smarter methods to hide stolen personal data and employing more sophisticated mechanisms to attack computers that are difficult to spot, according to experts.

Criminals are moving from attempts to target as many computers as possible to concentrate on techniques that help them to remain hidden on infected PCs over a longer period, said the director of security response at Symantec, Vincent Weafer. Symantec is an Internet security firm located at Cupertino, Calif.

Spam or junk e-mail is perhaps one of the best measures of the growth in cyber crime. These are relayed by 'botnets' or network of computers that cyber criminals control from remote locations. There was an alarming jump in spam volumes in December 2006. According to Postini, an e-mail filtering firm, it was 73% during October-December this year.

Spokesman for Postini, Mr. Dan Druker said that of the total e-mail messages 92.6% are spam, which has been the highest ever. The type of spam mails had also changed. In 2004 image spam was only a small percentage of junk e-mails. This year the figure increased to 25%. These spams with images and HTML documents are created in a way that they can pass through the filters.

Moreover, they occupy almost three times as much storage space as a text message. They also drain considerably on Internet bandwidth. Consequently, they put pressure on network administrators and technology departments in corporate.

Compromised computers by 3 to 4 million are active on the Net at any point in time, says Gadi Evron of Beyond Security, a security firm in Israel. This estimate refers to spam bots. Evron said remote hackers make millions of such botnets the medium for launching 'distributed denial-of-service' attacks.


Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

» SPAMfighter News - 12/30/2006

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