How Does The Hacker Economy Work?

Hacking isn't a kid's game anymore. It's big business. Online black markets are flush with stolen credit card data, driver's license numbers, and malware, the programs that let hackers exploit the security weaknesses of commercial software. Cybercriminals have become an organized bunch; they use peer-to-peer payment systems just like they're buying and selling on eBay, and they're not afraid to work together.

While the independent hacker still exists (pardon us, but in this story, we'll refer to "hacker" in the layman's sense), the FBI sees true organized crime in parts of the hacking community, particularly in Eastern Europe, says special agent Chris Stangl, who works in the bureau's cybercrime division, the agency's third largest behind counter-terrorism and intelligence. "You'll have hackers cracking the machines, individuals collecting the data, and individuals selling for profit," Stangl says.

Getting a clear picture of the hacker economy isn't easy. It's a murky underground about which few people are willing to talk on the record. But the general outlines can be gleaned from inside and outside sources. How Does The Hacker Economy Work? - News by InformationWeek

Linked by shanmuga Wednesday, 14th February 2007 8:29PM