AOH :: ISN-2747.HTM

Crime syndicates using internet to extend empires,




Crime syndicates using internet to extend empires,
Crime syndicates using internet to extend empires,



http://www.capetimes.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=271&fArticleId=3345357 

By Lee Rondganger
July 19, 2006

Johannesburg: Sophisticated crime syndicates could be behind the recent 
wave of internet crimes.

As cyber crime becomes a lucrative business, organised crime bosses are 
looking increasingly at the internet to expand their criminal empires.

This is according to American IT expert Richard Archdeacon, who was in 
South Africa recently.

Archdeacon, a director at IT security company Symantec, said international 
trends showed that crime syndicates were increasingly focusing their 
attention on internet fraud.

"What we are seeing is a Mr Big, who is a hardcore criminal employing 
skilled IT people who develop (hacking) codes that can be used against 
organisations," he said.

Recently, hi-tech fraudsters have hacked into dozens of South African 
companies and made off with more than R30 million.

In a single incident two weeks ago, a hacker bypassed a company's security 
system and transferred R3.6 million into a bogus account.

No one has yet been arrested.

Ian Melamed, an internet fraud investigator with Shaya InfoSec, said the 
internet security company had investigated several incidents in which 
large corporations' computer systems had been breached.

He said in some cases fraudsters had installed key loggers on computers 
that held the user identification and passwords of staff responsible for 
paying suppliers. They followed the employees' key strokes, set up fake 
suppliers and invoices, and made payments without the companies knowing.

Peter Gastrow, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies' 
organised crime department, said cyber crime was "a global phenomenon".

Colin Thornton, director of Dial-A-Nerd, said 50% of the IT support 
company's work involved clearing PCs of spyware and adware.

He warns of "wireless hacking" in which fraudsters sit outside wireless 
internet establishments and broadcast a wireless signal.

An unsuspecting PC user will think he is logged into the local network 
when, instead, he is logged into the signal of the hacker, who will have 
unlimited access to his PC and all he types in.

Copyright 2006 The Cape Times & Independent Online (Pty) Ltd.


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