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"I'd say 75 to 85 percent of all malicious attacks are coordinated by some organized group...."
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Written by Daniel   
Friday, 08 September 2006 10:36
Dark Reading
Stolen Data's Black Market


SEPTEMBER 7, 2006 | Computer crime is changing, experts agree. The Web-wide attack, designed to prove the hacker's proficiency, is out. The targeted attack -- designed to make a buck for the hacker or insider who initiates it -- is in, in, in.

So who's targeting your enterprise? And what's your data worth? Many IT people may be surprised at the answers, experts say.

The "black market" for stolen computer data is growing by leaps and bounds, according to experts who study computer crime and corporate espionage. "Before 1998, about 90 to 95 percent of all intrusions were done by individuals hacking out of curiosity," says Chris Pierson, founder of the cybersecurity and cyberliability practice at Lewis and Roca LLP, a Phoenix law firm. "That's entirely flipped now. I'd say 75 to 85 percent of all malicious attacks are coordinated by some organized group, even if it's a very loose organization."

"We're seeing a rapid growth in cooperative attacks, where an insider works in concert with some sort of external source to make a financial gain," says Brian Contos, chief security officer at ArcSight and author of the new book, Enemy at the Water Cooler, which outlines some of the recent trends and exploits in corporate computer crime. "It's not just hackers looking randomly for easy points of entry -- these are attacks on specific companies."

And although big-name companies and financial institutions are the most obvious targets, smaller and lesser-known organizations are on the hit list, too, Contos says. "Almost any company has some sensitive data that's valuable [to criminals]," he says. "A customer list can be used by a competitor or an identity thief. We've seen criminals hack into hospital systems just to get the Social Security numbers of the newborns. There's no one, obvious group of organizations that hackers are targeting."
...Much More..

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