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Twenty-Four Seven Security

Peter Schooff

Without a Trace - The New Cybercriminal

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According to an article at eweek.com, the new breed of cyberthieves know almost as much about how to track and trace a data breach or security slip as the experts do. And they are using this kind of knowledge to break-and-enter computers without leaving a trace: which means not just covering their tracks, but totally erasing them.

While companies have long believed that, as long as they keep up with patches and check logs and change passwords, that they would pretty much be safe. That may no longer be true. Bryan Sartin, a vice president of investigative response for Cybertrust, said the new breed of cyber thief will delete their tracks and often purposely soil the crime scene, perhaps by using their own encryption to make transaction logs unreadable.

One thief that Sartin tracked purposely set back the system clock back several months once he broke in (and which would reset itself once he left), knowing no one would look at logs a couple of months old, logs they had probably already gone over, to search for a break-in.

Also, banks have gotten so good at reacting to data breaches so the bad guys know they need to steal much more data. They realize that, because so few of the account will be active by the time they try to use them, the more credit card or bank accounts they have, the better the chance of finding a still active account the bank overlooked.

Finally, as cybercriminals have gotten so good at erasing their tracks, they no longer need to make their entrances quiet, and in general attempt to steal as much data in as quick a time as possible.

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Peter Schooff's blog is a daily look at what's going on in the world of computer security with an emphasis on how it affects businesses.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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