Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime

SPAM NATION by Brian Krebs follows “The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime—From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door.” Krebs is editor of a security blog and a former Washington Post reporter. It’s a must-listen deftly and intelligently narrated by Christopher Lane, tracking the methods used by the “digital mafia,” those growing legions of spammers who phish and snare unsuspecting computer users, since criminals find it easier to steal your identify or credit card numbers than to get a real job (where you have to punch a clock and count on working for thirty years before retirement on a meager pension.) Criminals always look for shortcuts, and in ways they are no different than players at singles bars wanting to score with naive young women. Their “lines” come in the form of code or enticing promises. Their viruses, similar to VD, here troll for access to your computer and data. When “private parts” are invaded, privacy is no more, and piracy occurs. These digital mobsters can be individual hackers in Russia, or American spammers who use Yahoo accounts for a hit-and-run attack, with the goal of harvesting passwords and usernames and selling them to the black market. Cyber crime is up, especially during the holiday season, and home invasion is down. Why? It’s easier. There’s less risk. And you can come away with more money (or credit to buy stuff) before the victim even knows what happened. This is a book the Postal Service should want to promote, since it just might send more people back to mailing letters for business payments (and even personal letters) rather than to risk being hacked and bankrupted. A postage stamp, after all, beats an email if your personal account numbers falling into the wrong hands is calculated into the cost. 

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