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The Almighty Buck Security

Security Attacks Increasingly Motivated By Greed 145

earthstar writes "E-commerce has emerged as the "single most targeted industry" according to the latest Internet Security Threat Report from security software provider Symantec, with hackers now appearing to be motivated by economic gain rather than notoriety. "We're seeing an increase in profit-motivated attacks," says Vincent Weafer, senior director of Symantec's virus research team. Also in Information week"
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Security Attacks Increasingly Motivated By Greed

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  • In other news. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:21AM (#10307528)
    It was discovered recently, that majority of activities of humans are driven by economic gain ...
    • Re:In other news. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by savagedome ( 742194 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:24AM (#10307548)
      Absolutely. Nothing in this article except another futile observation passed on as a study.

      If it contains money, they will come. Nothing new here. It has always been like that through the history of humankind. People used to keep money in the form of gold and *they* came. People started keeping money with their head of village and *they* came. People put the money in lockers/safes and *they* came. People started using banks and *they* came. Now people are using the web to store/trasnfer money and *they* are here.
    • I thought it was sex... But that's economicly driven too, sometimes... Rarely economic, though. :p
    • Re:In other news. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jakhel ( 808204 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:34AM (#10307635)
      Infamous bank robber Willie Sutton was finally nabbed after his illustrious 30+ year career of theft and prison breaks. When asked by reporters why he chose to continue robbing banks after being incarcerated several times, he replied 'because that's where the money is'. Go figure, criminals committing crime for financial gain. Who woulda thunk it.
      • In OTHER other news. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:07PM (#10310010)
        But the Dillenger gang sometimes took a break from robbing banks to knock over a police station or two. There wasn't much money there, but it was fun freaking out the cops. In WW2, the US organized crime syndicates turned down repeated financial incentives from the Overseas espionage division of Hitler's SS, with the arguement that they were patriotic American citizens, not saboteurs and Nazi stooges.
    • Re:In other news. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @10:03AM (#10308474)
      Nevermind "economic", the majority of human activities are gain driven, whether it be monetary, sexual, power/prestige/social standing or whatever.
    • Re:In other news. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bamm ( 244595 )
      I am not sure why everyone seems to be slamming the author of the article for being a "Master of the Obvious". Probably because much (all) of the content comes from the FUD farm called Symantec. If this study is true, then I would admit that this change is significant. No, it doesn't take a genious to figure out that hackers/crackers would shift from owning systems 'just to own them', to owning systems for economic gain. However, it is still very important to identify when then trend changes , as it impact
  • Because... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:23AM (#10307543) Homepage Journal
    ...being a l337 hax0r isn't good enough for some people.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is the equivalent of the pinhead bosses for attackers. The creative ones lead the way and did something interesting (though morally problematic) by working out attack strategies. Now the PHB-equivalents come in and focus solely on lining their pockets. Yawn.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:24AM (#10307546)
    Hacking (despite what the movies tell you) has more often than not had a profit motive. From people screwing around with banks, to corps trying to get info on their competitors ect...

    It seems now though more and more of the stupid amateurs are trying to get in on the Hacking for Fun & Profit gig.
  • That's why... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:24AM (#10307552)
    ...they are called crackers, not hackers.
    • ... 'cause everybody knows that "A hacker do for love what others wouldn't do for money".
    • Don't start this one again. "Hacker" is the new, socially acceptable term for computer-criminal. Regardless of the initial connotations of the word, that's how 95% of the population sees it. Words change, and no matter how many times you say "It's cracker, not hacker" on a geek-website, that 95% still doesn't care, and will use the word they're comfortable with.

      Not to mention, Cracker kinda implies that they're all white.. doesn't it? :P

      -phixxr.

      • Not to mention, Cracker kinda implies that they're all white.. doesn't it? :P

        No, the phrase "cracker ass cracker" implies someone is white.
      • I donno about it being the "new socially acceptable term" but in the late 70's while taking some programming classes, we [students] referred to hackers as someone who didn't write elegant algorithms or code but got the job done with brut-force.

        These less than elegant sections of code were referred to as a hack; hence, you were a hacker if you programmed that way all the time. In fact, if I recall, the programming text book made mention of it back then. I think it was the media who associated the word hac
    • Use defines language, get over it.

    • ...they are called crackers, not hackers.

      What? No need to bring race into this. I'm sure there are plenty of 1337 @RF1c@n-@m3R1c@n hAxxOrS about...
  • Curiosity.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Himring ( 646324 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:24AM (#10307555) Homepage Journal
    Many "kiddies" start out to "see what they can see" and end up stumbling upon something they perceive as serendipitous: a database of credit card numbers, a company's financial statements, etc. Once just curious, they "see green" and the gears start churning. Before too long they are making purchases with credit card numbers not theirs and/or they're trying to threaten/extort/blackmail a company into paying them money so they'll not release some damning information they've uncovered.

    So for those who advocate the freedom to "see what I can see" take note of the small leap toward real criminal behavior....
    • Re:Curiosity.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:52AM (#10307788)

      So for those who advocate the freedom to "see what I can see" take note of the small leap toward real criminal behavior....

      Circumventing security measures (however weak) on someone else's system without permission is already real criminal behavior [cornell.edu].
    • So for those who advocate the freedom to "see what I can see" take note of the small leap toward real criminal behavior....

      What, from your imaginary made-up scenario? That's like the government leafs talking about how pot is a gateway drug. If you smoke pot, you'll do all these other drugs.

      As with everything else, there are gradients. I do not doubt that some happen to do what you outline, but others get into "cracking" to learn how to steal, while others stumble on to something and quickly decide the
      • The big arguement against Pot being a gateway drug is that there's lower correlation than for several other drugs, not that there are no gateway drugs. The way I read your post, it sounds like you are saying there is no such thing as a particular non-criminal behavior that is likely to lead to a person crossing the line, not just that this particular example isn't such a case.
        The real reason the gateway drug arguement has lost favor is that there are much higher correlations between early use of taba
    • does a quick statute of limitations calculation...

      yeah, that's what I did back in High School...

      --QTone
    • "blackmail a company into paying them money so they'll not release some damning information they've uncovered"

      Ah, the joy's of the "knowledge economy"

      In a true free-info world, there would BE no blackmail.

      "/Dread"
  • Payoff (Score:1, Funny)

    If your gonna hack nowadays, its MUCH more likely you will be caught.

    Might as well make it worth your while.
    • Re:Payoff (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lachlan76 ( 770870 )
      Well, any investigation will probably be a lot faster and more thorough if there's money involved than if someone just gets root access and leaves.

      Most things people do are for money. Sex too, but if you can hack, you're already precluded from the latter ;)
  • It sounds like Texas style accounting has come to hacking. Any thing goes.
  • Is it me? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Paulrothrock ( 685079 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:27AM (#10307582) Homepage Journal
    Is it Obvious Day on /. or am I just crazy?
    • Up until last night, I was almost the same, except that I moved to a mac _from_ linux.

      Last night I tried to port a Java application to my phone, and tonight I'll be installing Fedora Core under Virtual PC just to be able to write J2ME code.

      Bah!
  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:29AM (#10307594)
    people have two legs! seriously, why was this posted? really, does taco have nothing better to post? quizzes about staplers and aol policies. YAWN! man, this site's goin downhill
  • Ha! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson.gmail@com> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:29AM (#10307597)
    "We're seeing an increase in profit-motivated attacks," says Vincent Weafer, senior director of Symantec's virus research team."

    Apparently Symantec's current marketing strategy wasn't working, so now they have to use profit-related scare tactics. "Vested interest" anyone?

  • by blcamp ( 211756 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:31AM (#10307612) Homepage

    "Companies using e-commerce also retain a lot of data about customers, account numbers and personal information, and a lot of smaller businesses conducting transactions online don't put the money into security, so they become easy targets," said Donovan.

    According to Donovan, many small businesses still do not have an "appropriate level of security".

    The larger problem is that many small business do not have an appropriate level of *clues* about security.

    Small business owners that are not tech-savvy are no better off than the average Joe Six-Pack that gets on the internet. Most unfortunately wouldn't know what it means to update your anti-virus/malware/spyware signatures, much less do it. By the time they do finally call for tech support their network and much of their IT assets, have been 0wn3d.

  • by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:31AM (#10307613)
    When you're young and living in the basement of your parents, you can create network disruptions for fun, but when you get older and move out, you have bills to pay.

    So you get a job, naturally, with your skillz, the people willing to hire you aren't exactly altruistic.
  • Stats? oh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wombatmobile ( 623057 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:32AM (#10307625)

    .

    "We have seen a pretty rapid shift in the style of threats by hackers as they focus more on key-logging and phishing scams for financial gain," he said.

    Oh really? Is Symantec able to quantify an increase in the number of "hackers seeking financial gain" that would qualify the headline of the article? I don't see any stats.

    "Companies using e-commerce also retain a lot of data about customers, account numbers and personal information, and a lot of smaller businesses conducting transactions online don't put the money into security, so they become easy targets," said Donovan.

    Oh. So businesses should give money to Symantec, right?

  • I mean are these people like convience store robbers or jewel thieves? Convience store robbers are thieves of opportunity, they just see a place that seems vunerable and hit it. Do the attackers just release exploits out into the wild(or just use other peoples exploits) and see what sticks?
    Or are they more along the lines of jewel thieves, carefully staking out their victim and carefully planning their heist. My guess is that they are more like the former than the latter, but the study doesn't really sa
  • Turnabout (Score:3, Funny)

    by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:34AM (#10307642)
    This is just payback for all the hackers that became day-traders a few years ago. Now, stock brokers are trying their hands at hacking....
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:35AM (#10307643) Journal
    is that this is purely about money. And yet it is IIS and MSIE that are targeted, not Apache and *nix. I guess that must be becuase IIS has the vast majority of the market and therefor the money folks go for the larger number of machines. [netcraft.com]
  • Money vs. FXP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sheepdot ( 211478 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:35AM (#10307647) Journal
    I disagree entirely with the conclusions the media proposes on a regular basis. I suppose being a moderator of a "script kiddie" security forum (or so it has been called by those that don't like our audience) at www.governmensecurity.org means that I'm out of the loop as to what true hackers are doing.

    The reality is that North and South American hackers are primarily motivated to participate in FXP, or file-sharing using their compromised computers. Russian hackers work with US companies to sell spam drones. German hackers do a mix of both but mainly use their computers to compromise more. Canadians DDoS other hackers. I don't intend to generalize, but it is important to note that the primary objective here is *still* file sharing.

    Sites like www.packetnews.com and the like have XDCC searches that help people find free software, like Sims2 the week it comes it. Some movies come out before they are in theatre. I remember seeing Mr. Deeds a month before it came out and Signs about two weeks before it came out.

    You don't get that kind of dedication from most hackers. In fact, I would venture to guess that the Russian groups that are doing the majority of the spambot installations have one or two knowledgable people in them, and that is essentially it. The others that work with them are just trying to siphon money. Still, there are a good deal of them with 0-day IE exploits, but unfortunately they haven't been well to adapt to one of the changes Microsoft made blocking an easy way to get files to your computer.

    Now, if these guys were bright, they'd keep using the same method and just change the registry so that they can use that method. But it would appear that they don't know how to do that. SP2 also seems to be causing some trouble.
    • Damn! Your url had a typo in it. Well, I'm guessing it was supposed to be http://www.governmentsecurity.org/ anyway.

      So what are the trends coming from romanian hackers and middle-eastern hackers? I'm guessing the Romanians are pretty much in line with the Russians. But I've seen more activity coming from the middle-east in the past couple months. What are they primarily doing? Just trying to play havoc because of current political motivations?

      You've pretty much nailed the other countries/regions from what
      • The middle eastern countries have a wide range of expertise. For the most part, the idea of terrorist hackers is a joke, however, both Israeli and Palestinian geniuses in this area have been doing phreaking and not hacking as teens. The more experienced have jobs. The only malicious hackers I know of in the Middle East and India are web based application attackers.

        Don't get me wrong, they're not bad, it's just that, generally speaking, I have not yet met anyone from the Middle East or India/Pakistan that i
        • And yes, I mentioned Germany as DDoS'rs above, because while Canada has still had the most, Canada is more moving to FXP while with the loss of Ago and Sven Jasen (Sasser author) there aren't really admirable "hackers" in Germany anymore. (save a few that are *really* quiet and scared to death)
  • by Maestro4k ( 707634 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:38AM (#10307678) Journal
    It's still profit motivated but judging by all the news of late, not to mention the number of spams coming from open (generally zombified PC) relays I'd say the number one motivator for attack is to gain new machines to use to shove spam through.

    It's not just attacks though, seems nearly every security threat (worms, viruses, hacking attempts, etc.) are all converging on one overriding purpose -- SPAM!!! Someone hacked your server? They've probably installed a trojan that makes it a zombie spam relay. User clicked on the blatantly obvious virus in their E-mail and infected their system? It's now a zombie spam relay. Worm managed to get into an unpatched system? Yay, another zombie spam relay!

    Even a few years back I felt a lot of hacking and virii/worms were caused by script kiddies playing with hackers tools they found online. Nowadays it's starting to look incredibly organized and methodical. It makes you wonder who's really behind the whole thing. It's getting to be far too orderly (from a spam relay acquiral front particularly) to just be lots of independant greedy folks with no morals trying to make a quick buck. Not to sound like I'm wearing a tinfoil cap but I'd say it's a fair bet that organized crime has moved into the arena and taken charge behind the scenes.

    • by dpilot ( 134227 )
      How about them there Evil Terrororists?

      Hide your messages in spam with steganography and broadcast them. This way, traffic-flow-based techniques won't work.

      By this premise, the DHS has a valid and critical reason to go after spam and zombies.
    • This began a few years ago, and yes you're right, it is organized crime. The biggest involvement that I've seen has been in the form of organized crime in Russia, although there are smaller players in Romania, Turkey and Greece (and of course scattered all over the globe, but these groups seem most active and collaborative in nature). Russian organized crime in particular has been involved in spam zombies for years now, and they're also involved quite heavily in child pornography rings around the world, and
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:43AM (#10307722)

    Enron and many other companies have been seen to steal money from innocent citizens. Flying directly in the face of previous accounts that said this was for charitable purposes, accounts are now saying that these deeds were based strictly on greed.

    Crime = greed? Wow! that is news.

  • Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    Now we'll finally see if Linux is as hackproof and bugfree afterall.

    This is free for interpretation.

  • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:48AM (#10307764)
    Five years ago, if you were l33t (= had a few technical skills you could show off), you could work for a .com and get big bucks just for showing up. Now that most .coms are .deads, getting money for technical skills is harder.

    It makes sense that as legit jobs are harder to get, some people, especially those who got addicted to the easy money, will look for non legit work.
    • Of course the question of legitimacy comes up when you look at the business practices of the .com bubble era. If you look at many of those business practices, could you *honestly* say those were legit jobs?

      It's too bad people need to work so badly that they can't look more closely at a company's business practices in determining whether or not they should be working for said company. *cough* SCO *cough* Enron *cough* <Investment Opportunity Du Jour> *cough*
      • Of course the question of legitimacy comes up when you look at the business practices of the .com bubble era. If you look at many of those business practices, could you *honestly* say those were legit jobs?

        Only in the sense that most cheating was done by manager types, not technical people.
  • GREED! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Prince Vegeta SSJ4 ( 718736 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:50AM (#10307775)
    Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies and cuts through and captures the essence of evolutionary spirit. Greed in all of its forms, greed for caffein, for FLOPS, for frags, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save OSS, but that other malfunctioning corporation called Microsoft.
  • That's it, i'm preparing my "Will hack for food" sign right now.
  • by wheelbarrow ( 811145 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:54AM (#10307810)
    This has been the way of things since the beginning of time. For each accomplishment that results from hard work, inventiveness, and bonds of trust there is a group of free loading dirt bags that will exploit it's weaknesses for selfish gain.

    E-Commerce is big enough now to attract the attention of criminals. I suppose that's an expected milestone for E-Commerce. The cowboy days of fast progress in an arena of trust and goodwill are over.
  • Newsflash: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by justforaday ( 560408 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:55AM (#10307813)
    Symantec is releasing daily reports, apparently motivated by economic gain.
  • Helllloooo???? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig...hogger@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:57AM (#10307836) Journal
    Could there be a relation to the fact that IT jobs are going into the crapper????

    When times are good, crime is not attractive. But when things are really doing bad, crime becomes more and more attractive...

  • by gtrubetskoy ( 734033 ) * on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:59AM (#10307854)
    hackers now appearing to be motivated by economic gain rather than notoriety

    So in the past all these people who pay spammers to send out millions of e-mails every hour asking to "update your account", sign up for web hosting accounts to set up phishing sites with stolen credit card numbers, extort money from companies by threatening DOS attacks, set up vast networks of zombies... ...were motivated by notoriety???

    • You're point is well taken and I am not going to challenge it, but I think I know why the mainstream media would make a big deal out of an insipid story like this. It involves the perception of hackers as highly motivated by notoriety, a perception that the hacking community brings upon itself.

      Many hackers try to justify their activities (to judges, the media, their parents) by suggesting that:

      -They weren't going to harm anything, just see if they could do whatever it was they were attempting.
      -The
  • by Dr. Manhattan ( 29720 ) <sorceror171NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @09:11AM (#10307977) Homepage
    A few dacades back, some paelontologists thought the dinosaurs were killed by plagues that the little mammals were fortuitously immune from. That theory has fallen into disfavor, but I wonder these days if that pattern might actually play out with Windows vs. Linux/Mac/etc.

    Now that there's (at least apparently) a viable business model for cracking machines, I think maybe Windows, which is fundamentally unsecurable partly by design and partly by historical practice Microsoft can't/won't break from, will just get overwhelmed. Certainly most of the home Widnows computers I run into have at least one spyware infection, and some are so infested as to be unusable.

    Of course, in nature the really virulent pathogens tend to evolve into less nasty forms - killing off all your hosts is not a good long-term strategy. The spyware and zombie bots might become less overtly intrusive and more 'asymptomatic'. Imagine the future of computing... most computers carry some 'viral load' more or less constantly... [shudder].

  • As the owner of an online store (see .sig), I get to see the nasty end of online fraud more often than the average Joe.

    I get at least one purchase made by a stolen card every week, and in some instances I've been able to trace the owner of the card details.

    In every single case, they've told a tale of how their PC got trojaned a few weeks back and they had to get it cleaned up. They're always quite shocked to learn of the real effects of what happened. Up until then, they just see it as an inconvenience and something you just have to put up with once in a while, like unblocking the kitchen sink.

    Sometimes though, they review their credit card statements and find other small purchases that they're overlooked, then realise that they had been screwed little by little over a long period.

    In every case, they've been more than happy for me to send them a copy of TheOpenCD or Knoppix so they can either install Moz or use Linux at least for their online stuff.

    The recent activities of the botnet barons and phishers have certainly caught the attention of the mainstream press though, which is great publicity.

  • You mean it's not artistic expression?

    Next, I guess we'll learn that Symantec [cnn.com] produces anti-virus software for a profit.

  • We're seeing an increase in profit-motivated attacks,

    You mean like Microsoft writing buggy and insecure software and then charging everyone for the next version where they claim everything is fixed?

  • Donovan predicts that phishing and spam will increase by the next report, and open-source software, such as Linux, will become a bigger target on the hacker agenda.

    Seeing as how /. claims Apache owns the web, this would olnly make sense. You compromise the web server you get more info, or go for the user and get the one time score.
    • You compromise the web server you get more info, or go for the user and get the one time score.
      No, you compromise a webserver, you gain access to the backend database, which may include enough personal information on enough people to enable identity theft on a massive scale.

      But it's not something that's known to happen often, is it?

  • Of course Symantec is going to put out reports stating that attacks of some sort are on the rise. Its what they do. But as others have posted here, I dont see any stats. Most of the time these things are all marketing bs - I mean say that the total percentage of haxx0r crime has really dropped, but that the profit motivated atttacks have risen (even though the total crime has dropped!) - which will Symantec report to you? They will never say that Haxx0ring has declined. Will that make them money?
  • by SysKoll ( 48967 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @09:40AM (#10308249)
    Quoteth the ZDNet article: Donovan predicts that phishing and spam will increase by the next report, and open-source software, such as Linux, will become a bigger target on the hacker agenda.

    "We're seeing an attempt in exploiting Linux environment and as it becomes more widely deployed it will become more of a target," he said.

    Oh really? Donovan being the Director of Symantec, this means his company is seeing exploits on Linux?

    That's front page news. Who? Where? What vuln? Which distro?

    Or do you mean "we think we will see"? That's not quite the same thing, Sym-boy. Careful with that FUD gun, will ya. You're gonna shoot your other foot too.

    Then again, if you think of it, companies like Symantec are part of the vast cottage industry that popped up for the sole purpose of plugging the leaks of Windows. The last thing they need is more Linux boxes around. Hence the FUD.

    • It's either that or they are planning a marketing campaign to sell their AV crap for Linux...
    • Oh really? Donovan being the Director of Symantec, this means his company is seeing exploits on Linux?

      That's front page news. Who? Where? What vuln? Which distro?


      Have you been living in a cave? A quick look at BugTraq shows many vulnerabilities in Linux, some that could be exploited to create trojans. Just look at all the image loader holes that have been turning up the last few weeks. You can bet there will be more, too.

      Of course, the problem is nowhere near as big as with Windows, but the statemen
      • Good points. Yes, there are vulns on Linux, hence the occasionally patched libs. However, scrip-kiddie exploits in the wild would be a completely different matter. Listening to Symantec, you'd think that Linux data centers are under the same kind of constant patch-or-die frenzy as Windows. That's not what my experience tells me.
  • by codepunk ( 167897 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @10:02AM (#10308472)
    All of this virus scanning stuff is like using
    a condom with a hole in it. I cannot even remember the number of owned machines I have fixed the last couple of months with a virus scanner installed and sitting behind a firewall. In nearly every case the machines are being exploited through the browser or preview in outlook. I run a virus scanner on a system now as a initial pass but then go to the process list to see how many bots are running on the machine collecting and sending data.

    If enjoy sharing your credit card information with internet vandals keep using Windows and Internet Explorer.
  • by m1kesm1th ( 305697 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @10:16AM (#10308613)
    earthstar writes "Fear among pc users has emerged as the "single most targeted industry" according to the latest opinions from IT users with news releases by security software provider Symantec now appearing to be motivated by economic gain rather than information. "We're seeing an increase in profit-motivated attacks," says Area man. Also in Information week"
  • by IAmMaxHarris ( 750973 ) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @11:24AM (#10309377) Journal
    It's wrong to use a phrase like "economic gain" to describe the money stolen through criminal actions like fraud and extortion. People who do this are destroyers of economic value, not creators of it.
  • The referenced site is unreadable because its ad server [serving-sys.com] is overloaded. Now that's a denial of service attach.
  • ... to see pure malice adulterated by greed.
  • The problem with computer security, with windows PCs in paticular, is that the OS administration is still designed with the expectation that the PC resides on a token ring network with no net connection, or one that goes through a Unix mainframe. Currently all operating systems seem to expect a sysadm to be a phone call away in order to be updated, patched and administered.

    This is clearly unrealistic. We already know that this expectation coupled with the obvious lack of systems administrators for lone PCs, has lead to a great many slashdotter being the de facto sysadm for their friends and family. Clearly this solution falls on its ass when faced with PC owners with no such tech head to call upon. These PCs are probobly doomed to become spam zombies or to take part in DDOS attacks.

    It's 2004, not 1984. Most PCs will likely never even be looked at by someone who can admisister them. I'm not just talking about patching and updating virus scanners. What about simple tasks like defragging? Does anyone really think that Aunt Tilly will defrag her PC? What about firmware updates?

    At this point PCs should support self administration and self diagnostic and repair. Before you laugh me out off the board, I know that feeble attempts at this have failed miserablely(Windows autoupdate, system restore). But in the age where four year olds, business students, lawyers and Aunt Tillies everywhere are using broadband connected PCs and haven't a clue how to keep them up and running, it's either MUCh better selfadm or you and I will have to become fulltime sysadms.

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