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Criminal gangs behind online threats, says Symantec

By Tony Neate on 26 Sep, 2006

Money on a hookOnline problems like viruses, spam and spyware are not just a nuisance. In most case they are launched by criminals with the intention of making money. We've been saying this since the site was launched last year. In fact, by some estimates, the worldwide cybercrime 'business' is worth $80 billion a year - more than the global drugs trade. Now there's a new report from Symantec, an anti-virus software developer, which underlines the point:

2,249 new vulnerabilities, up 18% over the second half of 2005. This is the highest number ever recorded for a six-month period. The home user sector was the most highly targeted sector, accounting for 86% of all targeted attacks. Eight of the top ten reported security risks were adware programs. Thirty of the top 50 malicious code samples exposed confidential information.

In an interview with the BBC, Ollie Whitehouse, a Symantec researcher said:

Organised crime is here and they are very interested in phishing. They target home users who have become the weakest link.

[tags]Symantec, crime, internet, vulnerabilites, viruses, spam[/tags]