11/16/2005

Keylogger Threat Sees 65% Rise

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 11:51 am

iDefense, the cyber security intelligence provider and a VeriSign company, has released data indicating that hackers are on pace to unleash a record-setting 6,191 keyloggers in 2005, a 65 percent increase from the 3,753 keyloggers released in 2004, and significantly more than the 300 in 2000.

Keyloggers, silently installed programs that record a victim’s keystrokes and sends them to hackers, put tens of millions of Internet users’ finances, personal data and account information at risk. Largely distributed by organized cyber theft groups, they are typically packaged with phishing emails or spyware - malicious code that then tracks victims’ online activity - often eluding traditional security defenses like anti-virus software and firewalls.

Joe Payne, vice president, VeriSign iDefense Security Intelligence Services, said, “Keylogging is very effective method for hackers. Fraudsters can launch hundreds of keylogging attacks around the world in seconds, gathering sensitive data to conduct large-scale monetary transfers for their illegal activities.”

Once a keylogging program is activated, it provides hackers with personal data such as address, account numbers, mother’s maiden names or passwords - any strings of text a person might enter online. Using this information to assume another’s identity, hackers run up charges averaging $3,968 per victim, according to a survey. Sixteen percent of victims were required to pay for at least some of this fraud, and spent an average of 81 hours to resolve their cases, reported the survey.

Source: Techtree.com

 

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