Twitter message could be cyber criminal at work

Published on: Tue, Jun 23, 2009 , Updated on Tue, Jun 23, 2009
Tags: twitter, cyber criminals, cyber crimes, online security
Courtesy: http://edition.cnn.com - June 22 2009

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Cyber criminals have now set their eyes on those tools that can carry malwares at a lightning speed.

Panda Security from Spain, one among the leaders in antivirus making, has been continuously monitoring the new moves of the hackers. They have come up with a shocking revelation that Twitter, the leading social networking & micro blogging service, is their next target. Numerous malware links are getting posted along with topics of day today relevance, to make the users click on it.  Thus the malicious URLs are embedded along with the ‘tweets’ or  Twitter messages and sent to the targeted users, says Sean – Paul Correll of Panda Labs.

The growing increase in malware attacks shows the tremendous rise in online threat. It also shows the amount of income that’s getting generated from online crimes. It is estimated that about $100 billion is spend worldwide, by the leading companies, to protect themselves from cyber crimes.
 
Experts say that cyber crime is one among the very few business areas, that’s benefitting from the financial crisis. According to McAfee, one among the prominent companies in antivirus making, there has been an increase of about 500% in the types of malware, very much higher than before.  In US, FBI has reported a 33% raise in Internet crimes, compared to last year.  

It is estimated that an average of $4.6 million was the loss that the leading companies had to endure last year, in intellectual property. With the economic turndown and layoffs of employees from the leading companies around the world, the threat has increased considerably, making matters worse.

Companies and government are finding it hard to make themselves safe from web-savvy criminals.  According to Michael Fraser, the director of the Communications Law Centre in Sydney’s University of Technology, the cyber criminals have a highly structured and sophisticated corporate structure, networking chains and websites that help them to communicate easily with similar minded people around the world. The websites have downloadable tool kits for the would-be hackers, along with step by step methods on how to use it.  

They also sell stolen credit card information and personal identity details. Even though legal activities have been taken against many of such websites, they keep mushrooming soon. The online criminals often prey on the vulnerabilities of human beings like free downloads, pornography etc…

The biggest threats that the companies face these days are "phishing" and "botnet" attacks.

Through phishing cyber criminals deceive people in the name of legitimate business or web sites, and cunningly steal passwords, credit card information, personal details etc…

Botnet attackers grab personal computers and make it the part of a large network of "zombie" computers for spam attacks. Among them certain ones are large enough to cause damages that are often irreparable. Even the present legal systems are unable to track-down these cyber criminals.

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