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Underground Economy Booms While World Goes Bust

Turns out the real "new economy" may be the one the crooks have created. A new Symantec report shows just how organized the underground is -- and how fast it's growing.
Turns out the real "new economy" may be the one the crooks have created. A new Symantec report shows just how organized the underground is -- and how fast it's growing.The Symantec report, released today,is based on the company's monitoring of underground chat and forum traffic between June 2007 and June 2008.

What was being trafficked? You name it -- credit card info, bank vulnerabilities, pirated software as well as botnets, phish-hosts,spyware and more. The underground sector is diverse as well as organized.

And it is organized. Symantec's findings suggest that the "goods" churn -- actual sales of the items being pushed -- could be over a quarter billion dollars a year. Small change compared to the billions the purchasers of the information generate with their scams, but enough to underwrite a solid economy.

Much it is based here -- the report estimates that more than 40 percent of underground servers are in the U.S. Be interesting -- and perhaps encouraging -- to see if this month's McColo dark hosting takedown puts a dent, or even a ding in the underground. The entire Symantec Report On The Underground Economy is here.

An Executive Summary is here.

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