The Information Technology terrorists are getting as sophisticated as the religious ones--particularly those of the Islamist type. Hearing what the information security companies are finding makes me think I'm back in Iraq.
The information terrorists seem to be learning a great deal from the religious terrorists. Their tactics continue to improve and their attacks mount. But the one thing they haven't learned yet is to try and make a moral case for their terrorism. It's been working for the religious terrorists--many people take their moralistic claims hook, line, and sinker.
Information Week reported recently about the number of phishing attacks on banks around the world.
The number of hackers attacking banks worldwide jumped 81% from last year, according to figures released at the BlackHat security conference Thursday. Researchers from SecureWorks also reported that hackers going after the company's credit-union clients increased by 62% from last year.With time, terrorists improve their tactics. It doesn't matter if the religious ones are in Iraq or not, they'll find a way to become better at the atrocities they commit. They're getting very good in Europe, fairly good in Canada, and they're starting to appear in the US.
So why are there so many more hackers this year than last? Joe Stewart, a senior security researcher at SecureWorks, told InformationWeek that highly technical and savvy hackers are no longer the only ones in the game.
Hackers no longer need to be technical wizards to set up an operation to steal people's banking information and then rob their accounts or sell their identifying information to an even bigger cybercriminal. Hacking toolkits and malware are for sale in the online underground. All hackers need are basic technical skills and the knowledge of where to go to buy what they can't build themselves.
"You go to a Web site and pay a $100 to several hundred dollars, and you can buy a turnkey exploit package," said Stewart. "You can buy the malware too, and then you're in business You put these components up on a Web site and immediately start infecting people. All you really need to know how to do at this point is set up a Web site."
This new ease-of-use is evident in the numbers.
Below is the part of the IW article that sounded the most interesting. Change a few words of it, and it sounds like raiding terrorist hideouts in Iraq.
"The amount of stolen financial data we have found since the first of the year has been daunting," said Don Jackson, a security researcher with SecureWorks and the discoverer of the Gozi and Prg Trojans. "With the Gozi, Prg, and BBB Trojans alone, we found millions of dollars of data sitting in their stolen repositories. These data caches contained thousands of bank-account and credit-card numbers, Social Security numbers, online payment accounts, and user names and passwords, and we're finding new caches of stolen data every day -- evidence that more and more criminals are getting into the game."
"Criminals are getting into the game" ... you could say that about the religious terrorists as well. They're mostly just criminals.
Hopefully the information terrorists don't start studying Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin to soon, or we might find them announcing to the world that they are simply getting their due from the greedy capitalist pigs of America as well.