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IP theft and blackmail the motivation for cyber criminals

Simon Quicke

Money might still motivate cyber criminals but the way they are getting it increasingly involves blackmail and theft of intellectual property.

The changing behavior of those attacking firms was highlighted yesterday in a McAfee report and has been backed up with further anecdotal evidence of those in the channel that have seen the results of the latest crime techniques first-hand.

The McAfee report pinpointed the shift from simply stealing money to targeting sensitive data, IP and using blackmail, where the potential to acquire funds was even greater.

"Cyber criminals have shifted their focus from physical assets to data driven properties, such as trade secrets or product planning documents," said Simon hunt, vice president and CTO, endpoint security at McAfee.

The findings of the research are being backed up on the ground with Anthony Haywood, CTO at Idappcom also witnessing a change.

"What we are seeing is something of a seismic shift away from conventional bank phishing for bank and card account credentials, over to a more sophisticated form of theft," he said.

The positive from the research from a channel perspective was the ongoing need for education about multi-layered protection for users, a message that Haywood advises resellers to take out to customers.

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