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Security Crime Google The Almighty Buck

Curbing the For-Profit Cybercrime Food Chain 19

msm1267 writes: A new report coauthored by Google researchers and a host of academics explains that firewalls, two-factor authentication and other traditional defensive capabilities put security teams in a constant dogfight against cybercrime. Instead, the focus, they says, should be on attacking the criminal infrastructure. The report outs a number of soft spots and inter-dependencies in the criminal underground that could be leveraged to cut into the efficacy of cybercrime. "Commoditization directly influences the kinds of business structures and labor agreements that drive recent cybercrime," the researchers write. While shutting down the black market is easier said than done, the paper notes a few ways to deter the behavior of attackers, if not fully break the chain.
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Curbing the For-Profit Cybercrime Food Chain

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  • Just how are we to deal with criminals who steal from us who live in nations that will not arrest culprits? Russia leaps to mind.
    • Just how are we to deal with criminals who steal from us who live in nations that will not arrest culprits? Russia leaps to mind.

      You don't need to arrest them, just stop the money from reaching them. A lot of current cybercrime are being transacted via credit cards, western union, etc..
      You could eliminate most spam, most phishing, and even some of the illegal drug trade if you could make it more difficult to send money to the criminals.
      Bitcoin will make it hard to eliminate all the illegal drug trade but my guess is most of the Viagra sold via spam is being purchased with credit cards and
      if you can prevent the credit card transaction

  • "A new report coauthored by Google researchers and a host of academics explains that firewalls, two-factor authentication and other traditional defensive capabilities put security teams in a constant dogfight against cybercrime."

    None of these ineffective measures would be necessary if researchers could design a client side 'computer', that can distinguish between code and data and won't execute code downloaded over the Internet.
    • Data are programs and programs are data. There is no real distinction between those two. Also, currently I think that the human component is the weakest part of the system. Of course, the "big bugs" get the news coverage, and some are really serious like heartbleed, mostly because it persists in millions of non-updated devices, but most times, modern cybercriminals just use other means, where the user an some authorization step of some form in order to install the payload, be it the "it department" calling,

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday September 25, 2015 @02:30PM (#50600001)

    The actual article seems to be:
    http://static.googleuserconten... [googleusercontent.com]

    Oddly enough, they don't mention how wonderfully effective AdBlock software has been to help people avoid the recent rise of ad-based malware.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Friday September 25, 2015 @02:31PM (#50600017) Journal

    The paper references an interesting conclusion from another paper:
    -----
            Levchenko et al. found that only three banks were responsible for accepting payments for 95% of the spam URLs .
            Brand holders impacted by fraud and trademark
    abuse can alert the credit card networks involved, resulting in
    merchant banks severing relationships with known criminals.
    McCoy et al. found that persistent brand holder intervention
    from 2011â"2012 disrupted payment processing for criminals
    for months at a time

    ----

    Those three banks certainly would be good targets, to --persuade- them to stop providing payment processing to spammers. The only US bank on the list is Wells Fargo.

    • This would be the same Wells Fargo that, when I tried to change the US address for my account to an overseas one, responded by closing it--in effect stealing about a thousand dollars from me?

  • Follow the money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Friday September 25, 2015 @03:04PM (#50600363)

    Follow the money.

    Seriously, how hard is that? These criminals use credit cards and bank accounts...and the card companies KNOW that they're processing fraudulent transactions but they make money from each transaction so in the end they turn a blind eye.

    Same goes for the banks- most of them KNOW they have criminals passing money through their institutions. But hey, who's gonna turn down a "customer" with 10 million dollars to deposit? No one, that's who.

    Yes, I know it's not that simple, but my point stands: choke off their ability to use the financial system and this stuff will get much much harder for them. I mean, fuck, when ransomware demands a credit card for payment, there's your first lead. Yes, some of them want a Western Union transfer, but even so...follow the money. FOLLOW THE FUCKING MONEY.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      I've thought for years that this would be a good strategy and wondered why it never happened.

      I would go a step further and warn banks, hosting companies, and other otherwise legitimate businesses who provide the "air supply" that they are facilitating criminal enterprises and that they should stop. Those that get found repeatedly doing business with them should face RICO prosecutions.

      At the end of the day,though, I sometimes wonder if there's this attitude that any business that involves mostly upper class

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