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Friday, February 23, 2007


You won’t be pleased to know that 2006 was a banner year for cyber crooks. Scammers and spammers found a multitude of holes in software products to ply their antics, according to an article in The Washington Post. More than 90 percent of all e-mail sent in Oct. 2006 was unsolicited, and spam was up 60 percent the last two months of that year. The spam problem seems to originate with “bots,” or a system that takes over computers anonymously to control them remotely, running programs known as worms. As you read this piece, 3 to 4 million bots are running on the Internet. “Botnets” were the vehicle used by organized crime online in 2006 to steal $2 billion through phishing scams. The criminals can also seed these bots to record and steal usernames and passwords from compromised computers. It’s become a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job for one of the most sophisticated groups of racketeers since the “Mob.” The problem is we can’t categorize them as in the past because there’s no real profile. Just greed, and that’s universal.

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