CNET’s News team got their hands onto a recent Symantec report on the state of cyber-crime. The boys listened to “underground IRC channels”, and then analyzed the data.
Computer criminals have become more professional in the last year, creating underground economies where malware, bank accounts and services are bought and sold “freely”. If everything offered would be sold (a highly unlikely scenario), sellers would net 270 million dollars in a single year.
The most scary part of the report is the following quote:
“The big picture is this system is highly self-sustaining. You can buy the attack tool kit, use it to steal information and sell that information to others in the economy,” Zulfikar Ramzan, technical director of Symantec Test and Response, said in an interview. “You don’t need to have expertise in every area of cybercrime. You can have expertise in just one area and with others, form a supply chain to make money.”
Of course, it’s always possible that Symantec is peddling fear here in a fashion similar to what F-Secure did with S60 virii – so take these results with a grain of salt.