Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The 5 faces of cybercrime

While browsing through the newspaper in the staff lounge, I came across this headline on the front page of Straits Times' Digital Life.
Being curious of what the headline meant by "5 faces of cybercrime", I read through the Digital Life (my favourite section) and reach the article.
The article is presented in a form of illustration.

Each of the 5 kinds of cybercrime mentioned in the article is explained using drawings with a short description.
As you can see, the drawings tend to exaggerate each type of cybercrime face.

Here's the description of the 5 faces of cybercrime:
  1. Phisherman:
  2. He runs websites like those of banks which look genuine right down to the logos and graphics except that they are bogus. He lies in wait for his victims to come to his site to give their account details and passwords that are typed in. He is the master of imitation.
  3. Bot Herder:
  4. This Herder looks after no ordinary cattle. He is the master of a botnet - a network of computers hacked so that they can be controlled remotely by this person. See him as the mercenary general of a huge army of slave soldiers.
  5. Businessman:
  6. He is a middleman. He may not be a techie - he buys tools from the Writer and hires the services of the Bot Herder. He may use the Spammer and Phisherman. He may even be part of organised crime. Compared to traditional crime, cybercrime has low overheads - no tattooed thugs to maintain. It makes good profit.
  7. Writer:
  8. This hacker churns out new viruses, worms, spyware or trojans. Like good software firms, he offers support so that his malware will be updated to evade detection. The Writer creates for the Dark Side.
  9. Spammer:
  10. He works for the Phishermen and drives victims to phishing sites. He sends out masses of e-mail messages or instant messaging (spam). He monitors Google Trends and tailors his messages to the hottest topics. The Spammer appeals to your curiosity. Want to know more? Click this link. And - wham - you are on a phishing or malware-laden site.
The use of illustrations helps to drive the meaning across to the readers. However the drawings may portray a different degree of interpretation as compared to text as some are just literal translation of the types' heading.

This article brings the understanding level of cybercrime a notch higher. People usually relate cybercrime with spams, pornography, cyber harassment... etc. With this article, a deeper understanding of the spamming and cyber virus network is exposed.

Interesting article it is.

Understand cybercrime,

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