Symantec notifies the world of what the bad guys are busy doing these days

Security company Symantec recently warned that Internet computer security intrusions have made a transition into big business for cyber criminals.  In the company's most recently published Internet Security Thread Report (PDF), cyber criminals also are acting more professionally with their methods to create and distribute viruses and trojan software.

Over a six month period ranging from Jan. 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007, Symantec research revealed more sophisticated toolkits used by members of the criminal underground.  Also worrisome, criminal groups are working together to make it easier to exploit unexpecting computer users.

The first six months of 2007 have especially been crucial, with 212,101 threats reported being a massive 185 percent increase when compared to the second half of 2006.

"If you're making noisy, nuisance attacks, you're alerting people. And that's not the goal. If you want to make money you want to be quiet," said Dean Turner, Symantec's Global Intelligence Network director.  ""We've seen a real sophistication and a real commercialization of professional attack tools."

Also in the ISTR report, Symantec reports around four percent of popular cyber crime activities can be traced back to computer networks operated by Fortune 100 companies.

However, research indicates bot-infected PC use has decreased 17 percent during the first half of 2007 - though Symantec admits that it cannot accurately predict how many PCs are running under the control of other criminals.

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