Friday, April 11, 2008

RSA: The Rise Of The Malware Mafia

Dan Goodin writes on The Register:

Policy makers should reject pressure to draft new laws targeting phishing and other types of cyber crime because existing statutes already cover most of the illegal activity, a researcher who investigates online criminals said.

Although phishing, malware attacks, and botnet propagation have all come about in the last decade or so, they are little more than new ways of carrying out much older types of crime, said Dmitri Alperovitch, director of intelligence analysis at a company called Secure Computing.

"These crimes, when you follow the money, when you look at what they're actually trying to do, are really covered by laws that are hundreds of years old," Alperovitch said during a session at the RSA security conference. "It's my belief that new laws for the most part are not only not needed but a lot of times are a waste of paper and a waste of time."

Alperovitch sounded a theme that has been so often repeated in security circles that it's now almost cliche: Cyber crime is no longer the province of teenage hackers holed up in their parents' basement, but rather an enterprise that's been co-opted into the most hardened and powerful organized crime families.

More here.


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