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02:55 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell

Cybercrime Wave Becoming Tsunami

Cybercrime figures and analysis out from Finjan and McAfee today tell us what we already know but can't be reminded of too often: the criminal side of the Web is hot and getting hotter, with 2009 already looking like a bad year for everybody but the crooks.

Cybercrime figures and analysis out from Finjan and McAfee today tell us what we already know but can't be reminded of too often: the criminal side of the Web is hot and getting hotter, with 2009 already looking like a bad year for everybody but the crooks.The security companies' year-end reviews are well-worth reviewing: each is likely to dampen your spirits a bit, and neither is looking forward to a happier New Year.

The Q4 cybercrime trends report from Finjan gives a strong heads-up about the increased interest cybercrooks have in exploiting Flash functionality to embed crimeware, taking advantage of browser vulnerabilities to lead their marks to malicious sites.

Particularly scary is Finjan's observation that some large ad networks are failing to take actions to prevent the illicit interactions -- that legitimate Flash banner ad may also be a pathway for the crooks.

McAfee'stake may be even scarier: According the company's yearly Virtual Criminology Report, the number of hijacked computers increased by 400 percent in the last quarter alone, with no signs of slowing down.

Both companies see bad economic times as a potential gold mine for crooks, with the number of job offer/job assistance, financial assistance and other "help in hard times" scams expected to continue rising in the New Year.

I particularly liked McAfee's blunt take on law enforcement's difficulties in responding to the growing cybercrime wave. Poorly trained and poorly funded, most law enforcement agencies are proving more effective effective at nabbing smaller-time cybercrooks while organized cybercrime gets bigger and better organized almost daily.

Worth comparing the reports'insights with those of the cybercrime study prepared for the Obama Administration.

Both reports are solid, and should be read and passed along to everyone in your company who uses a computer (i.e., everyone):

The complete Finjan Web Security Trends Report Q4/2008 can be downloaded here (participation in anonymous survey required).

McAfee's complete "Virtual Criminology Report: Cybercrime Versus Cyberlaw" can be downloaded here.

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