Criminal hackers less competent than ten years ago

According to Zabala, the most interesting aspect of Panda's latest quarterly IT security report is that "the attack vectors are in the hands of less competent people than they were 10 years ago."

"Criminals are motivated by money. It is more economical for criminals to attack systems without a high degree of technical knowledge", he said, adding that this is now possible owing to the sophistication of the IT attack software at their disposal.

The Panda project manager went on to say that Panda Security is seeing a complete cybercrime co-system developing, with offices in eastern Europe, to service the needs of clients.

But, he told Infosecurity, whilst the offices are typically in Eastern Europe, where it is cheap to operate, the `brains' of the operations can be almost anywhere in the world, and where the master criminals live and work.

So what can companies and end users do to battle this rising level of cybercrime?

Zabala says that better education amongst users is needed,  IT security software is needed to defend a users' PC, which must be kept as up to date and patched as possible.

The good news is that the Panda project manager sees businesses as becoming a lot more savvy about IT security issues than before. "They also understand the need to patch and update", he said.

"Most attacks occur as a result of third-party software. There is an increasing need to protect the third party software and harden the operating system and software infrastructure. This has to happen if we are going to beat the criminals", he said.

Panda's latest quarterly (Q2) report notes that there has been much activity over the last quarter. "If we could make a wish, it would be for Adobe to get moving and give security the importance it deserves, otherwise it will continue to be responsible, albeit indirectly, for many infections", says the report.

"Over the next few months, social networks will continue to be the centre of attention, as cybercriminals keep looking for new ways to reach users", the report adds.

According to Panda, users must demand clear options to protect their privacy, and if a new option to share information is added, it should not be enabled by default.

"This is an error Facebook has made all too often. In the second half of the year we will see tablet PCs based on Android and Windows 7, along with new security challenges."

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