Hacking for profit

Wednesday, 14 July 2004, 4:36 PM EST

The popular perception of the worm writer as a socially inadequate teenager who releases worms mainly to impress peers may no longer be entirely accurate. A small but growing handful are in it for the money, and that could mean bad things for users, security practitioners say.

"Virus writers are getting more professional," says Graham Cluely, a senior technology consultant at antivirus firm Sophos PLC.

More of them are looking for opportunities to make money by either hiring themselves out to attack a Web site's rival or enabling spam and phishing scams. For instance, the kind of denial-of-service attacks launched against Microsoft Corp. and The SCO Group Inc. by MyDoom earlier this year could easily be done for hire.

By Jaikumar Vijayan at Computerworld.

[ Read more ]

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