Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Youth + Technology + Crime

There have been a lot of reports throughout international news lately about organized crime recruiting the young computer student for a life of crime. McAfee released their Virtual Criminology Report 2006 on organized crime and the internet that revealed some shocking research. The study reveals how "Internet savvy teens as young as 14 are being attracted into cybercrime by the celebrity status of hi-tech criminals and the promise of making money without the risks associated with traditional crime." Criminals scan through hacker message boards, forums, etc... looking for the hacking rebel. Some computer technology students have even been found to have crime families sponsoring their IT degrees. Once completed they would go and work for the crime families.

Botnets (mass number of computers unknowingly compromised that have been turned into a world network of devices that attack in unison or command) have steadily become one of the powerful tools for cyber crime. McAfee reported it to be a serious threat in their 2005 report and in the 2006 report they estimate that now over 12 million computers worldwide have now been compromised for "phishing schemes, illegal spamming, spreading pornography and stealing passwords and identities."

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