Computer Crime Research Center


Greater Cybercrime Profits

Date: January 15, 2007

Data collected by SonicWALL, Inc. from its SMARTLABS network of over one million email users showed increased convergence in the 2006 malware ecosystem, with combinations of spam, phishing, viruses and DHA attacks delivering new levels of profitability for online fraudsters.

During the year, SonicWALL recorded twice as many directory harvest attacks (DHA) as all spam attempts, which rose to two and a half times their 2005 levels, together with greater and more ingenious levels of phishing attacks, and a sharp increase in 'stealth' virus attempts.

"The overriding goal of spam today is profit, and an increasing amount of spam is intended to enable theft on a grand scale," said Gleb Budman, senior director of Email Security at SonicWALL. "Online theft has become more sophisticated, more 'stealthy' and more universal: rather than targeting large organizations, scammers are making substantial profits by focusing on individuals." 2006 profits from phishing scams rose fourfold, from $257 to $1244 per victim according to a November '06 report by Gartner Group.
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