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More IT Pros Could Turn To E-Crime In Poor Economy 112

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the what-would-mitnick-do dept.
snydeq writes to mention that a recent survey by KPMG shows that many people feel that out-of-work IT workers will be much more tempted to turn to criminal activities due to the down economy. This, coupled with an E-crime survey that shows fraud committed by managers, employees, and customers tripled between 2007 and 2008 paints an interesting picture. "In other survey results, 45 percent of respondents who handle critical national infrastructure said they are seeing an increase in the number of attacks on their systems. Fifty-one percent of respondents from the same category said the technical sophistication of those attacks is getting better. Sixty-eight percent said that of all kinds of malicious code they felt Trojan horse programs — ones that are designed to look harmless but can steal data along with other functions — had the most impact on their businesses. Rootkits are the next highest concern, followed by spyware, worms, viruses, mobile malicious code and, finally, adware."
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More IT Pros Could Turn To E-Crime In Poor Economy

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  • Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Niris (1443675) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:06PM (#27361779)
    This is kind of a duh thing, isn't it? When the economy goes south, crime of all sorts that leads to profit increases. There just happens to be a lot of people out there with enough background knowledge in IT to make a profit off of criminal acts in IT.
    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Funny)

      by JustOK (667959) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:11PM (#27361867) Journal

      They're just trying to write their own bonus packages, much like the execs did.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jurily (900488)

      There just happens to be a lot of people out there with enough background knowledge in IT to make a profit off of criminal acts in IT.

      Also, there is no suck thing as "E-Crime".

      Unless you want to say an axe murderer is only a misguided tree cutting professional.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not really. I'd just say, "When economy is bad, crime increases."

      I expect IT people are probably less susceptible to layoff than, say, warehouse laborers. I'd also guess that they're generally more honest than your average employee since they're often in a position where they need to be.

      So really, I'd guess there will be more crime all around, but a disproportionately low percentage of it will come from out-of-work IT people.

      Long in short, article is total FUD.

      • Maybe, but incident after incident links IT insiders to malicious activity on the systems they administer.

        I would also like to think that IT people are both more honest and less likely to be laid off, but people are people and there are quite a few employers out there who don't really appreciate how valuable their IT people are.

        I think many who get laid off will probably be tempted if they don't have luck finding new positions.
        • by billcopc (196330)

          I would like to think that people more often find links in I.T. because it's an information-heavy environment. The average tech workplaces keeps track of everything in these magical files called system logs.

          Convenience stores don't keep a written journal of every person walking in and out, and exactly which items they consider, with their name, address and exact time.

          Combine that with the fact that electronic crimes typically require some sort of court case or long-winded investigation to nail, vs a couple

          • Ahhh, magical logs! I have heard of these things!

            However, my root powers say that I can modify said magical logs and applications such that my trails are covered like the soft footprints of a ninja in socks.

            I will use my +5 stealth rootkit to defeat your magical logs - especially if I have full access to a machine.

            Of course, maybe I was just referring to spreading malware and keystroke logging the average doofus' PC.

            System administrators should never get so confident that they think their system
    • Shut up and give me your wallet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ssintercept (843305)
      a very duh thing indeed. from the linked article: "In poor economy, more IT pros could turn to e-crime" (emphasis mine).

      you could say that about anybody or any profession during hard times.
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      Can we blame them? After all when people have met all of societies requirements and educated themselves and have shown that they are more than willing to work hard they have completed their end of the social contract. If society then fails to provide for them then it is reasonable for them to get by any way they can. Responsibility works in both directions.

      • Can we blame them? After all when people have met all of societies requirements and educated themselves and have shown that they are more than willing to work hard they have completed their end of the social contract.

        I'd venture that since part of "societies requirements" is that you're expected not to commit crimes, they've not actually met their end of the social contract.

        • by ultranova (717540)

          I'd venture that since part of "societies requirements" is that you're expected not to commit crimes, they've not actually met their end of the social contract.

          And they didn't commit crimes, holding their end of the bargain; yet the society failed to hold its own end, thus making them morally free to break their end too. It's just like in any contract, if one participant fails to uphold his end the other is free to disregard his too.

          Or so I understood the granparent's point, anyway. I'm not sure if I actua

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:07PM (#27361799) Journal
    Financial Pros already managed to turn crime into a poor economy.
    • Financial Pros already managed to turn crime into a poor economy.

      And it has fallen upon our shoulders to turn the poor economy back into a haven for profitable crime!

      I, for one, humbly, selflessly, and with a strong sense of duty accept this honor on behalf profession and my country; nay, the world! The VIjAGRA e-tailers are calling our names!

    • It's the other way around. They turned to crime in a good economy, and their crimes wrecked the economy.

  • by Narpak (961733) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:10PM (#27361841)
    Once a person out of desperation, or greed, turns to crime to make money for the necessities of life; it is only natural that they use whatever skills they have to the task. An increase in unemployment among IT professionals, and a tough job-marked all around, this sort of development don't surprise me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:17PM (#27361967)

    "You have two options: unemployment or early retirement."

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And if even if you do get caught, they'll send to one of those white collar resort prisons. You know they let you have conjugal visits there?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by alxkit (941262)
      two words: conjugal visits
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jmelchio (681199)
      I think you're forgetting one option; you could become an entrepeneur. Then again, I might be 'Jumping to Conclusions'.
  • by Jonas Buyl (1425319) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:19PM (#27361989)
    So if 45% says the attacks are on the rise that means 55% said attacks are getting less or equally frequent, right? The 51% is pretty much the same thing. Some analysis you got there.
    • Yup, apparently 77% thinks that attacks are getting less sophisticated.

      This is the epitome of Sloshdat reporting: Take some bogus statistics and then jump to absolutely any conclusion you want, irrespective of what the numbers mean.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      If you survey 100 people who were mugged once last year about how many times they have been mugged this year and 50% said the same (lets say 1) and 50% said increased to 2, then you would have a 50% increase (from 100 to 150 total) this year. So yeas, these stats can be perfectly valid.
      • by billcopc (196330)

        Right, but they said "same or less", which muddies up the results.

        You could theoretically have 50% increase, and the other half decrease, canceling each other out, which is the point the GP was trying to hammer through your cocky little skull.

  • by mewsenews (251487) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:20PM (#27362017) Homepage

    Mr. Joe Plomber
    Representative, Accounting Department.
    AIG, United States

    Dear Sir ,

    I am Plmber, joe, the Represenative in charge of Auditing and Accounting section of AIG of USA with due respect and regards. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

    During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to Bernie MAdoff who died on March 12 in a hunting accident and the fund has been dormant in his/her account with this bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation.

    Although personally, I kept this information secret within myself to enable the whole transactions and idea be splendid and successful during the time of execution.

    The said amount was USD$ 5000000,Five Million. I am overjoyed to say that with the introduction of internet and Website, I was opportune and lucky to have come across your Contact through this satellite media. As it may Interest you to know, Meanwhile all the arrangement to put claim over this asset as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place.

    Directives and needed information will be forwarded to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to helpfully assist us and also benefit your self through this amazing business opportunity.

    In fact I could have done this deal alone but because Of my position in this country as a civil servant, we are not allowed to claim a foreign account, this is the actual reason why it will require a intermedary Or consultant who will forward claims as the next of kin. With affidavit of trust to this bank and also Present a foreign account where he will need the money to be retransfer into. I will not fail to assure you that this transaction is 100% cromulent.

    On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 14% of the total Sum as gratification, while 3% will be set aside upon conclusion, to take care of expenses that may arise during the time Of transfer both local and international like shipping, bribes, e.t.c, while 78% will be for me and my partner.

    Please, you have been advised to keep very confidential as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this stunning deal with you. I will be watch the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask us to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages indicated and to discuss incredible investment opportunities, either in your country or any country you helpfully advise us to invest in.

    All other necessary information will be sent to you When I hear from you. I suggest you get back to me on my private e-mail address: princeamir@worldzia.ua as Soon as possible stating your wish in this deal.

    Yours pleasantly,

    Plobmer, Joe Agust

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This puzzles me. With our universities pumping out so many unemployed and under-employed arts graduates, why can't the spammers find someone who can write grammatical, plausible English?

      • by billcopc (196330)

        Because the arts graduates expect no less than $150/hour for their time, as they so joyously read in the recruitment propaganda that enticed them to blow a small fortune on tuition.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Dir sir/maddam,

      My name is chaney, Dick, who is currently taking care of the widow of Bernie Madoff who dies on March 12 in a hunting accident. Ms MAdoff is indebted to your countries tax official the sum of two million USD $2000000 for the sales of real property during 2007.

      Unfortunately, Ms Madoff is unable to work and after her husbands passage, does not have the funds to pay off her tax debts. I was personally good friends with Bernine madoff and with him on the tragic day of his death. He told me a
  • Aha! I always knew IT people were the scourge of society.
  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:32PM (#27362201)
    I'm not buying this story at all. I live and work in Silicon Valley. I do see lots of folks getting laid off at a higher rate than in the past. At the same time, I see the same folks quickly finding new work. Sometimes it involves a pay cut, often it does not. I just don't see IT in this area being affected as deeply as other professions in other parts of the country. It is not bad enough in IT that good people are turning to lives of crime to make ends meet.
    • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:55PM (#27362499)

      I think most of this is from self proclaimed IT Pros, vs. Real ones.

      • by Intrinsic (74189)

        LOL, I'm not exactly sure what you mean be self-proclaimed and real pros. But if you mean school educated -vs- experience driven. Ill put my money on experience driven any day of the week.

        A Real pro, is someone who is dedicated to providing an excellent service and making sure he has the expertise to back it up when the time comes. Everything is is just, well academic.

        • Umm Usually Real Pros have Education & Experience.
          I agree with your second paragraph though. However Experience without Education often provides derivative work, or bad coding, your app may run and look good on the outside however keeping it running other then by yourself is much harder if you don't learn good practices, not necessarily as they are always better, but people know what to expect when they look at it. Education without Experience you don't know when it is better to break the rules. Some

    • by causality (777677)

      I'm not buying this story at all. I live and work in Silicon Valley. I do see lots of folks getting laid off at a higher rate than in the past. At the same time, I see the same folks quickly finding new work. Sometimes it involves a pay cut, often it does not. I just don't see IT in this area being affected as deeply as other professions in other parts of the country. It is not bad enough in IT that good people are turning to lives of crime to make ends meet.

      Perhaps the phenomenon of outsourcing has already gradually done the damage to this industry that a poor economy would have done more suddenly. That's just an idea; I don't really have the economic understanding to know how to determine whether there is any truth to that, but that was my first impression when I saw your post. Maybe someone who does understand economics can tell me if there is any validity to it.

    • by Slider451 (514881)

      It is not bad enough in IT that good people are turning to lives of crime to make ends meet.

      More likely they were never good people.

  • Oh noez! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Munpe Q (1437793)
    sum 1 stolz my m3ga hurtz!
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:39PM (#27362287)
    The problem is all inside your head, my manager said to me
    The answer is easy if you take it logically
    Id like to help you in your struggle to be free
    There must be fifty ways to leave your employer
    He said its really not my habit to intrude
    Furthermore, I hope my meaning wont be lost or misconstrued
    But Ill repeat myself at the risk of being crude
    There must be fifty ways to leave your employer
    Fifty ways to leave your employer


    Just slip a virus out the back, jack
    Make a new botnet plan, stan
    You dont need to be coy, roy
    Just get yourself free with stolen accounts!
    Hop on the ddos bus, gus
    You dont need to discuss much
    Just drop off the encryption key, lee
    And get yourself free
    He said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
    I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
    I said I appreciate that and would you please explain
    why the fuck you laid me off


    He said why dont we both just sleep on it tonight
    And I believe in the morning youll begin to see the light
    And then he blew me off and I realized he probably was right
    There must be fifty ways to leave your employer
    Fifty ways to leave your employer
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:45PM (#27362381) Homepage Journal

    ePrison for committing an eCrime.

    • ePrison for committing an eCrime

      Good one!

      You'll have to admit, though, it's an improvement from the current state of affairs in which the the "cyber" prefix is applied to everything.

      Maybe it's time for a Slashdot poll so we ccan decide what to call these things going forward. My vote is Crime 2.0.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yea, they make you stay in second life for 5 years

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Harnish (127535)

      So what would ePrison be? AOL?

  • I wonder whether anyone trying to earn anything trough black hattery will find it easy in those tough times. I'm sure not all parts of the world have been hit equally and so becomming an international criminal could become even more of a necessity for the so inclined. Maybe they should try getting some of that money back from Nigeria.

    I also have doubts that SPAM is going be on the upturn and I guess the article already makes clear that people who were smart enough to not make the obvious financial mistakes

    • by jweller (926629)

      I mean the real world isn't like Office Space.

      I want to work where you do, I've found my professional life to be depressingly similar to Office Space. Still not showing Jennifer Aniston my O face though.

  • 1.) Work a few years. 2.) Wait for recession. ... ... ... 6.) Profit.
  • by Critical Facilities (850111) * on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:06PM (#27362665) Homepage
    that tagged this story "eHamburglar", but I want to thank you. For whatever reason, that struck me so funny that I laughed out loud...so loudly that I can only truly call it a "guffaw", and as a result, everyone within earshot of my office is convinced I'm off my meds.
  • Ok, so they ask if attacks are increasing, and 45% say they are, presumably meaning 55% said no. That's an increase? That sounds like a decrease.

    51% say the technical sophistication is increasing? Well, as time goes on, technology gets more sophisticated. It seems like attacks would follow that trend too.

    This doesn't sound like a real story, it sounds like someone coming up with an idea and trying to make the statistics sound right. Didn't Mark Twain say something about lies, d*mn lies and statistics?

  • Let's see:

    1. Attacks are getting more sophisticated. Is this really unexpected? As countermeasures are developed against existing attacks, they have to get more sophisticated.

    2. "...many people feel that out-of-work IT workers will be much more tempted..."; duh. Ask John Q. Public if X worker in Y field might be tempted to commit crimes against the field they have experience in when the econmic pressure is on, and Mr. Public will always say yes.

    TFA doesn't actually actually say anything about out o
  • by mevets (322601) on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:29PM (#27362959)

    Look at how mired in poorly functioning, slow, useless software the entire IT world is. These guys could bring about the end of crime....

    • by jfeser2 (1517427)
      Yeah, a virus that takes about half an hour to load, and bothers you the whole time with flashing popups.
  • Problem solved.
  • Yep. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If I had a buyer for it, I'd definitely sell my company's data for whatever I could get for it. Hell, I'd give them Administrator accounts on my Active Directory network if they asked and paid for it.

    Having my department's budget slashed to where I literally can no longer deploy new workstations or printers because we don't have sufficient surge protectors to plug them into or enough wall outlets, my employees fired to where I am now doing the job of about four people, and being made to work 70-hour work we

    • ...and of course, the judge will look at your living situation and agree that you can break the law all you want 'cause your job sucks.

      While that may be considered justification for many, the law's not gonna see it the same way.

  • Like those CEOs who are making a reaping despite the bad economy opening some rootkit and exposing information. That's a legit worry.

    If an IT guy is going to turn bad, they would've done that a long time ago. They're in the best position to avoid detection anyways.

  • So 45 percent of respondents said that they are seeing an increasing number of attacks? HOW MUCH are they increasing? If 45% of respondents said that attacks are up 0.01%, I don't really care. Way to not give me enough information to form an opinion, article...
  • "There's only four things we do better than anyone else: music, movies, microcode, and high speed pizza delivery."

    The former hedge-fund managers are hogging all the pizza delivery jobs, guess that means the coders are going to have to stick with crimes you can prepend with "cyber."

  • Of course I didn't RFA, but I did read another recent article that stated IT unemployment was just shy of %2, and really hasn't fluctuated much with the recent downturn. With the assumption that the less then %2 aren't necessarily nefarious, I contend that this position is a bit detached from reality.

  • With higher online education and easier access to breaking tools - and a certain amount of social support for it (popular) - I think it's the folks who have too much time on their hands doing it. Now my experiences were working with ISPs in a small town with high income rates - and nothing for anyone to do - so everyone had computers and did online stuff. Hacking attempts were higher there than I've even seen working for a stock-exchange feed company (which got hit at the same level, scale and pressure

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