Home The Digital Mafia: Online Crime Gets Organized, Says Cisco

The Digital Mafia: Online Crime Gets Organized, Says Cisco

In its midyear global security report for 2009, Cisco says there’s plenty to be worried about when it comes to the way that online crime operations are operating.

Bot herders and other nefarious characters are still using cutting-edge computing and social engineering. But according to Cisco’s analysis, the real innovation is how those behind some of the biggest threats are collaborating in new ways. It’s enterprise 2.0 for the criminal underbelly of the Internet.

Collaborative Criminals

Tom Gillis, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Security Products, said, “We see many signs that criminals are mimicking the practices embraced by successful, legitimate businesses to reap revenue and grow their enterprises.”

Highlighting the collaboration between those running Conficker and Waledac, Cisco asserts that a new business model has emerged for the bot masters, whereby they work together to sell each other’s services and evade detection. In some cases, they’ve even used public forums to solicit advice from one another.

A Persistent Threat

Not only are illegal enterprises collaborating, but they pose a threat that persists over time, with ability to launch new attacks in the future.

Is there hope on the horizon for fighting these threats? Cisco pointed to “good guy” collaborative organizations, such as the Conficker Working Group and the Obama administration’s renewed focus on cybersecurity, as good signs that industry and government are well-aware of the challenges to securty ahead.

You can download the full report here, or watch the video intro below.

Photo credit: husin.sani

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