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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Top tech talent lured into cybercrime by large paychecks

Microsoft's Chief Security Advisor in the UK, Edward Gibson has warned that organized gangs are targeting young tech-savvy university-educated recruits in developing nations. Gibson, who previously worked as an FBI agent for 20 years, voiced his thoughts at a security conference in London, Britain.

According to Gibson, quoted by SC Magazine, organized criminal groups seeking to cash in on the cybercrime bonanza are tempting technology graduates in countries such as Ukraine or Bulgaria with exciting hacking opportunities for a top salary. The money on offer is the biggest lure, as these gangs provide a far better financial package than legitimate jobs in the local technology industry. Criminal gangs than base their cybercrime campaigns in these countries, where they not only have access to the best talent, but can also make use of poor anti-cybercrime legislation and corruption.

The logical target for big cybercrime conglomerates is the Western world, which has embraced the cyberworld and all it has to offer in terms of e-communication or e-banking. However, whilst the best young graduates from Eastern Europe or Asia could previously get jobs in the West securing these systems, they are now increasingly found on the other side. And according to Gibson, who in previous public appearances went on record to say that “it’s not the hacker crackers you have to worry about, but the Ukrainian mafia”, the problem will continue to grow. The latest danger is the spread of botnets, and the advent of cheap computing (such as machines for $100-160 to be sold to developing nations) with access to the web could swell botnet numbers even further. All this, and access to the best technology talent, will make it easy pickings for global cybercriminal organizations, which are already becoming more and more prominent in today’s cyberworld.
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