Card thieves battle it out on the internet


Card thieves battle it out on the internetGrowth of malware infections, including those from botnets, have led to credit card criminals battling each other for control of victims' computers.

According to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for net security firm Sophos, gangs are conducting an "internet war" to "commandeer" the systems and steal personal details.

Users of computers compromised by malware are more vulnerable to credit card fraud. Criminals can use the viruses to monitor victims' internet usage and pick up their account passwords and even card numbers.

Figures from Cisco, a tech firm, also revealed this week that the security breaches have become so numerous that an individual's credit card details have been devalued. Two years ago, fraudsters were selling the information on at rates of up to £9.70 per customer. Currently, the information is going for as little as 30p.

Mr Cluley said: "What we are increasingly seeing is the botnets fighting each other -- attempting to commandeer compromised computers from one hacking gang's control into another's.

"It's not unusual today for the malware we encounter in our labs to be aware of other forms of internet attack and attempt to defeat it. Unfortunately it's innocent users' computers which are the field of battle for this internet war."ADNFCR-2308-ID-19508570-ADNFCR

Published: 14 December 2009