Selling spam software
October 2, 2007
The number of cyber threats jumped by 185% over the last year. Experts say it's largely because as identity theft becomes more lucrative, more people are getting in on the act.
To make matters worse hackers have a new strategy to sneak into your computer.
"They're becoming more accelerated quicker. They're more advanced, and more likely to infect you," explained Symantec's Oliver Friedrichs.
Friedrichs said identity thieves have expanded their reach by selling software tools to aspiring hackers to help them steal your data.
Anyone can get started for about a thousand dollars.
"Then you can install that tool on your website. This will then infect every person who comes to your website with malicious code, so you can control their computer," Friedrichs explained.
Not only is your data vulnerable to professional hackers, it's also potentially vulnerable to the guy sitting by you at the coffee shop...who may be looking to make a few extra bucks.
"Just like legitimate software vendors profit from selling their applications, we now see a new breed of a hacker who's selling sophisticated attack tools and selling them on the open market," Friedrichs warned.
The good news is if your computer is protected enough to repel the professional identity thieves you're probably safe against amateurs too.
The bad news is the professionals are coming up with more potent software, and that's what they're selling.