Are Hackers Working For The Mob?

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Are Hackers Working for the Mob?

Siobhan Chapman, Computerworld UK

Hackers stole more data last year than in the previous four years, according to new research.

In its 2009 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), Verizon investigated 90 data breach cases that exposed a 285 million records, which is equivalent to nine records per second. This figure is far greater than the 230 million records recorded as breached in the five years combined from 2004 to 2008.

The study looked only at breaches involving attacks that resulted in compromised records being used in a crime. Verizon Business found that organised crime was behind 90 percent of all breaches which involved compromised records.

Market saturation has driven down the price of credit card details on the black market. Details that were valued at around $10 to $16 per record in mid-2007, are now sold for less than 50 cents per record today.

As a result, personal identification numbers (PIN) fraud has exploded as criminals are targeting financial firms to steal PINs and together with associated credit and debit accounts. Financial firms accounted for 93 percent of the over 285 million records compromised.

"Financial services firms were singled out and fell victim to some very determined, very sophisticated, and--unfortunately--very successful attacks in 2008," said the report.

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