Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Russian Hackers Wreak Havoc in the West

Russian Hackers Wreak Havoc in the West

by Tudor Vieru, news.softpedia.com
December 30th 2008 8:34 AM

As most of the international community focuses its attention on drug traffic, cyber-crime is becoming increasingly aggressive, and the number of Internet attacks, be they through denial-of-service, spam, malicious software or viruses, is constantly going up. Hackers in Russia and China are mainly behind these attacks, considering that their level of computer knowledge is highly developed. Young students from Moscow's technical universities are approached by hackers, and join crime groups. They stand to gain between 5,000 and 7,000 dollars per month, as opposed to the average Russian’s salary of $640.

"The damage from cyber attack is real. Ineffective cybersecurity, and attacks on our informational infrastructure in an increasingly competitive international environment, undercut U.S. strength and put the nation at risk," said a report forwarded to Congress by a commission. The paper advocates the creation of a special branch at the White House, designed to protect the American cyber-space from attacks coming from other governments or individuals.

The report also cites the fact that intellectual rights infringements, caused by hackers in the last year alone amount to several billion dollars. The State Department reportedly lost thousands of gigabytes of data to hackers, as did Homeland Security, which reported that numerous files, belonging to the strategically-important Transportation Security Administration – which deals, among other things, with airport security nationwide – were also scanned and attacked repeatedly, sometimes several hundred thousand times per day.

According to international estimates, cyber-criminals have developed an underground market worth more than $100 billion yearly. In Moscow and Beijing, sleek luxury cars can be seen roaming the streets, driven by people below the age of 30. Although the evidence is there, Russian authorities say that they have very few resources available for fighting the hackers, who use rogue Internet providers to channel their attacks through.

"Why should I take a regular job after graduating and exert myself to earn just $2,000 a month, rather than grab this chance to make money? It makes sense to get as much as you can, as quickly as possible, rather than wasting time working for someone else," argues a Russian hacker, who has an anonymous account on a cyber-crime forum, specialized in credit card fraud.

Original Page: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Russian-Hackers-Wreak-Havoc-in-the-West-101058.shtml

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Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.

United States of America

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