It's Christmas for cyber-criminals too
According to security company Trend Micro, in 2007, during the key shopping period between September and December, cyber-crime attacks rose by 500 per cent and a similar trend is detectable this year. Trend Micro report that it's also a boom time for the sale of cyber-crime resources. They list twelve such items on the cyber-criminals Christmas shopping lists, along with the typical prices paid.
Advanced malware package
10,000 PCs with spyware installed
Basic malware package
Guaranteed undetected Trojan
Stolen personal banking details
Stolen credit card details
30,000 UK based email addresses for spamming
1,000,000 international email addresses for spamming
Login for a MySpace account
Login for a Skype account
Online computer game account
Source: Trend Micro 16/12/08
According to an article on Out-law.com a site sponsored by international law firm Pinsent Masons, the cyber-crime community has its own disturbing sub-culture including, Coders, Kids, Drops and Mobs. Some figures quoted in this article show that the Trend Micro shopping list is at least somewhere in the ball park for the cost of cyber-crime tools and resources.
In their report Trend make the usual precautionary recommendations; check for the browser padlock indicator, change your passwords regularly and use different passwords for different services, use the privacy settings on social network sites and keep your machine clean by running regular malware scans.