Credit crunch forces hackers to switch tactics

News by Dan Raywood

The current global financial crisis has led to a growth in the amount of new malware threats.

The current global financial crisis has led to a growth in the amount of new malware threats.

 

Panda Security has revealed that recent stock market instability has accelerated the volume of targeted cyber attacks and their relative impact on the economy over the last month and a half.

 

Analysts at Panda believe the recent spike in malware could be related to cyber criminals now having fewer possible targets as a result of consolidation within the banking industry.

 

It also claimed that hackers believe that they do not have the same amount of money to steal, and are now rushing to find another source of income; less innovative, and more traditional forms of crimeware. So rather than credit card details, account numbers and sensitive password information, the current wave of scams tricks users into buying fake antivirus.

 

The activity, commonly known as rogue antivirus installations, has an average success rate of 3.4 per cent and has resulted in cyber crooks pocketing around £7.7 million-a-month of revenue, according to Panda's latest estimates.

 

Dominic Hoskins, country manager, Panda Security UK, said: “Criminal organisations are closely watching market performance and adapting as needed to ensure maximum profit. What makes these attacks successful at this specific moment is because they prey on individuals' fears of identity theft and computer infections.

 

“Our research suggests that there is a strong correlation between stock market declines, banking industry consolidation and surge in economic cybercrime. The results show that cyber crooks' attacks hit an all time high when stock markets declined.

 

“It also seems that current economic conditions forced cyber crooks to diversify their methods of crimeware. They clearly moved away from common Trojan and phishing malicious towards rouge antivirus installation.”

 

Panda Security has revealed that recent stock market instability has accelerated the volume of targeted cyber attacks and their relative impact on the economy over the last month and a half.

 

Analysts at Panda believe the recent spike in malware could be related to cyber criminals now having fewer possible targets as a result of consolidation within the banking industry.

 

It also claimed that hackers believe that they do not have the same amount of money to steal, and are now rushing to find another source of income; less innovative, and more traditional forms of crimeware. So rather than credit card details, account numbers and sensitive password information, the current wave of scams tricks users into buying fake antivirus.

 

The activity, commonly known as rogue antivirus installations, has an average success rate of 3.4 per cent and has resulted in cyber crooks pocketing around £7.7 million-a-month of revenue, according to Panda's latest estimates.

 

Dominic Hoskins, country manager, Panda Security UK, said: “Criminal organisations are closely watching market performance and adapting as needed to ensure maximum profit. What makes these attacks successful at this specific moment is because they prey on individuals' fears of identity theft and computer infections.

 

“Our research suggests that there is a strong correlation between stock market declines, banking industry consolidation and surge in economic cybercrime. The results show that cyber crooks' attacks hit an all time high when stock markets declined.

 

“It also seems that current economic conditions forced cyber crooks to diversify their methods of crimeware. They clearly moved away from common Trojan and phishing malicious towards rouge antivirus installation.”

 

Topics:

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events