Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Gangs Flooding the Web for Prey

Kevin Voight writes for CNN:

On December 8, Australia suffered a sneak-attack from malevolent forces based in the former Soviet states. The weaponry was a multi-million fusillade of bogus e-mail touts targeting customers of iiNet, owner of Ozemail, one of the most popular Internet providers in the country.

The barrage overwhelmed company servers, which saw e-mail traffic spike from a daily average of 12 million messages to nearly 20 million -- 98 percent of which were spam -- and caused a 10-minute delay for users.

"We're seeing a lot of spam coming from China and Eastern Europe," says Greg Bader, chief information officer of iiNet. "They are organizations that are obviously very well set up and funded in order to release the volume of email they're pumping out."

Cybercrime is big business. The FBI estimates that computer-related crimes -- such as virus attacks and identity theft -- have cost companies and consumers $400 billion in the United States alone, according to a September report.

More here.


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