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Booming online underground economy: Symantec

Carol Ko | Dec. 10, 2008
Value of total advertised goods on underground economy servers during 12-month period was more than US$276 million.

Furthermore, the potential worth of the goods advertised by the single most active advertiser identified by Symantec during the study period was US$6.4 million.

The underground economy is geographically diverse and generates revenue for cybercriminals who range from loose collections of individuals to organised and sophisticated groups.

During this reporting period, North America hosted the largest number of such servers, with 45 per cent of the total; Europe/Middle East/Africa hosted 38 per cent; followed by Asia/Pacific with 12 per cent and Latin America with five per cent.

The geographical locations of underground economy servers are constantly changing to evade detection.

As evidenced by the report on the underground economy, today's cybercriminals are thriving off of information they are gathering without permission from consumers and businesses, said Stephen Trilling, vice president, Symantec security technology and response.

As these individuals and groups continue to devise new tools and techniques to defraud legitimate users around the globe, protection and mitigation against such attacks must become an international priority, Trilling said.

 

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