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Cybercrime becoming personal: McAfee

Cybercrime is becoming increasingly personal as criminals collect data from social networking Web sites, data breac...


October 14, 2008  


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Cybercrime is becoming increasingly personal as criminals collect data from social networking Web sites, data breaches, and other sources, according to a McAfee, Inc. report released yesterday.

In the bi-annual McAfee Security Journal threat report, international security experts from McAfee’s Avert Labs found an increase in the use of social engineering techniques used to exploit human nature and maximize profits.

“Cybercriminals are crafting attacks that are virtually impossible for computer users to identify,” said Jeff Green, senior vice president, McAfee Avert Labs.

“Phishing scams, e-mail attacks, Trojan horses, and other attacks are so personalized that even someone with the most watchful eye could fall for a carefully socially-engineered trap.”

In the past six months, cyberscammers have exploited human emotions and curiosity in attempts to lure victims and steal personal information.

Recent scams have revolved around news and events such as the Olympics, natural disasters, and the presidential election in the United States.

“No matter where you live or what language you speak, cybercrooks will exploit basic human nature, zeroing in on emotions of fear, curiosity, greed, and sympathy,” said Green.

“Criminals understand human weaknesses and will increasingly use the power of the Internet to exploit those weaknesses. It’s an easy way for cybercrooks to make money and for spies to steal sensitive data.”