Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report claims that online criminals are exchanging stolen full identities for between $14 and $18.  A full identity includes the victim’s Social Security number, bank account details including passwords and other personal information such as date of birth and the mother of the victim’s maiden name.  The main victims of online identity theft appear to be US citizens with 86% of the credit and debit cards advertised for sale on the online underground issued by U.S. based banks. 

Elsewhere in the report Symantec claim to have seen an 11% rise in the use of Bot networks, with China accounting for 26% of all Bot networks.  The number of bot-infected computers in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) increased by 130 percent from the 1 million seen during the first half of 2006.  U.S. sites were also the victim of 52% of all DOS attacks.

While the report makes depressing reading as it highlights the sheer volume of online criminal activity it is worth looking at to simply better understand the attack trends and the mindset of those who you need to protect your networks from.

If you are not up to reading the 104 page report, Symantec provides a podcast which outlines the key findings, while a flash presentation is also available.

About the Author: bhimport

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