Computer Crime Research Center


A new cyberattack on data

Date: December 27, 2005
Source: USA Today

A new breed of targeted digital attack designed to filch sensitive data from computers at businesses and government agencies has emerged as the latest cyberthreat, tech security experts say.

Organized crime groups in Eastern Europe and Asia are behind the attacks, which spy on the PCs of employees with access to highly sensitive data so they can rip off bank account numbers, credit card numbers and other information, says Phillip Zakas, CEO of computer-security firm Intelli7.

The targeted e-mails — launched through e-mail attachments containing malicious code — often appear to come from business associates and are hard to spot, he says. When opened, the attachment installs a small program on the victim's PC that downloads more malicious code and copies sensitive data.

"These new attacks are corporate espionage," says Patrick Hinojosa, chief technology officer at Panda Software, which is releasing products next month designed to detect targeted attacks. Symantec and McAfee also are incorporating new features in their security products to spot targeted attacks.
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