Thursday, December 31, 2009

Poor IT job market may fuel online crime

A mid-year security report released last month Cisco System indicates that the weakening IT job market could lead to an increase in online crime as laid-off workers, especially those with computer skills, turn to scams to support themselves.
Disgruntled emloyees may target their former employers, and Cisco warned that insiders "can be especially damaging for an organization because insiders know security weaknesses." A former IT analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was arrested in April along with his brother on suspicions of taking out loans using false identities. FBI-investigators found a flash drive attached to the bank employee's computer with applications worth 73,000 dollars in loans under the names of stolen identities, the report said.
Cisco warned companies which use short-term IT consultants or who contract out the tasks to "be particularly vigilant about the level and term of their access to sensitive data." The report included snippets of a conversation with a botmaster, or someone who remotely takes over computers without users' knowledge and often sells the resulting access to spammers. The hacker declined to say how much he earned by phishing bank accounts.


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