Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Experts See Forecast Worsen for Cybercrime
Highly organized cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated tools and methods that make them hard to trace, said Keith Mularski, supervisory special agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cyber Division.
"They have evolved over the years," Mularkski said. "It really is organized crime."
Mularski, who spoke at the RSA conference in London on Wednesday, has had great success in infiltrating organized cybercrime rings. He successfully infiltrated a ring known as DarkMarket, an online forum where criminals bought and sold personal data, such as credit card numbers. DarkMarket was shut down about a year ago and 59 people were arrested, with the help of authorities in the U.K., Germany, Turkey and other countries.
While the DarkMarket bust was a big win, there are still such forums operating today and they're hard to infiltrate. New members must be vetted for reliability and to ensure they're not agents like Mularski.
The malicious software programs used to collect the data have become insidiously complicated and hard to detect. Financial organizations now are in a "raging battle" against "high-grade" weaponry, said Uri Rivner, RSA's head of new technologies for identity protection and verification, who gave a presentation earlier in the day at RSA.
Those programs go by names such as Sinowal -- also known as Mebroot and Torpig -- which is a nasty rootkit that burrows in a computer's master boot record below the OS. It may not even be removed by reinstalling the operating system. It can steal data and even modify the HTML of Web pages requested by a user.