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malware and phishing -- skyrocketed at rates of 50 to 200 percent.
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Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 27 March 2007 08:23
ID Theft Doubles in Two Months
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MARCH 26, 2007 | Online identity theft grew at an unprecedented rate during the first two months of 2007, as its two chief components -- malware and phishing -- skyrocketed at rates of 50 to 200 percent. A study scheduled to be released tomorrow by Internet monitoring firm Cyveillance Inc., found more than 3 million pieces of personal information available on the Web, including approximately 320,000 debit and credit card numbers, 1.4 million Social Security numbers, and 1.3 million account login credentials.

 "The odds of you personally being targeted for [online] identity theft are higher now than they have ever been in history," says Todd Bransford, vice president of marketing at Cyveillance. "The volumes of personal information available on the Web are higher than they've ever been before."

The report is a first for Cyveillance, a seven-year-old company that mines Internet content and trends via Web crawlers and proprietary search engines. To create the report, Cyveillance sent its crawlers out looking for likely phishing sites, malware, and personally identifiable information.

"This is a little different than the other reports you may have seen, which are projections based on surveys or Internet crime reports," Bransford observes. "Everything we found is actually out there right now, on the open Internet."

In December, Cyveillance found that the average number of URLs detected with malware was less than 20,000 on a daily basis. Last month, however, that average had grown to about 60,000 sites daily, with a single-day, mid-month spike of close to 140,000.

"What we're finding is that a lot more of the malware is designed for financial gain," as opposed to just vandalizing or damaging systems, Bransford says. "Based on these numbers, I would say that over time, malware is going to become a more common method of identity theft than traditional phishing." More

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