Cybercrime Getting Organized

Hackers, identity thieves working more like mafia; profits increasing
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 5:20 PM CDT
Parents listen to a seminar conducted by Connecticut State Police Sgt. Jim Smith of the state police cybercrimes unit in Windsor Locks, Conn., May 22, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
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(Newser) – There’s serious money to be made in cybercrime, and its perpetrators are beginning to reflect that fact, Ars Technica reports. Lone hackers have been replaced with hierarchical organizations that divide the criminal risks inherent in stealing and reselling (usually financial) information. The cybercrime "firms" are growing steadily as they generate more revenue, internet security firm Finjan notes in its quarterly report.

Like the real-world mafia, the organizations maintain relationships with networks of semi-legit “associates” who buy their wares for resale. The result is that the person trying to pawn off stolen bank accounts and PINs for $10-$20 has no idea how they were obtained, complicating investigative efforts.