David Kirkpatrick

December 8, 2008

Cyberthieves – 1, everyone else – 0

Cybercriminals are staying ahead of security experts and software developers.

This is a problem on many fronts. One, they are stealing money, information and data. They are criminals after all. Two, their activity clogs the “tubes” of the net. Three, because software experts spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with these nutbags, they have less time to spend developing new applications to get to the next generation of computing.

From the link:

Internet security is broken, and nobody seems to know quite how to fix it.

Despite the efforts of the computer security industry and a half-decade struggle by Microsoft to protect its Windows operating system, malicious software is spreading faster than ever. The so-called malware surreptitiously takes over a PC and then uses that computer to spread more malware to other machines exponentially. Computer scientists and security researchers acknowledge they cannot get ahead of the onslaught.

 

As more business and social life has moved onto the Web, criminals thriving on an underground economy of credit card thefts, bank fraud and other scams rob computer users of an estimated $100 billion a year, according to a conservative estimate by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. A Russian company that sells fake antivirus software that actually takes over a computer pays its illicit distributors as much as $5 million a year.

With vast resources from stolen credit card and other financial information, the cyberattackers are handily winning a technology arms race.

”Right now the bad guys are improving more quickly than the good guys,” said Patrick Lincoln, director of the computer science laboratory at SRI International, a science and technology research group.

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