Data Thieves Smarten Up, Branch Out

More sophisticated hackers chip away at your online security
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2007 2:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Hackers are getting smarter, more international, and increasingly well funded, a new report on Internet security reveals. One scam involves gangs acting as middlemen for other would-be criminals; some rip-off artists use social networking sites to research a mark, then send a personalized email to trick the target into giving up personal data, PC World reports.

The report, by Internet security maven Symantec, also breaks down prices for stolen data. Bank account numbers fetch the highest prices, up to $400 each, with email passwords topping out at $350. The firm is also seeing a surge in a sophisticated strategy that implants a small program, which then downloads more dangerous programs.