Be Afraid: Hackers' Scary New Tricks to Rip You Off

Image: Sergey Galushko

Nearly two billion Internet users are vulnerable to scams and cyber assaults, in particular what a security company calls “crimeware-as-a-service“ carried out by organized cyber criminals.

In a newly released report by CA Technologies, researchers  noted how Trojans are today the most common category of new threats, accounting for 73 percent of total threat infections reported worldwide. But more importantly, 96 percent of discovered Trojans were components of an emerging underground trend towards organized cyber crime, or “Crimeware-as-a-Service.”

Crimeware isn’t new, but the extent to which a services model has now been adopted is amazing,” said Don DeBolt, director of threat research, Internet Security, CA Technologies. “This new method of malware distribution makes it more challenging to identify and remediate. Fortunately, security professionals and developers are diligent about staying one step ahead of these cyber criminals.”

Crimeware is primarily created to target data and identity theft to access user’s online banking services, shopping transactions, and other Internet services. Cyber criminals use a variety of techniques to steal confidential data through crimeware, including installing keystroke loggers to collect sensitive data. A crimeware program can also redirect users’ web browser to a bogus website controlled by the cyber criminals. Additionally, crimeware can enable cyber criminals to remotely hack into networks and systems to gain control and/or steal information.

In addition to crimeware, another notable threat this year is scareware, also known as fake anti-virus software. Called scareware because they scare consumers into buying purchasing anti-virus programs, this type of scam has become one of the fastest-growing types of online frauds,the FBI said in July. Instead of removing the “virus,” the programs often do either nothing at all, or they install malware onto computers and infect them.

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