Friday, March 02, 2007

Internet Scams to Watch for in 2007

By Leslie McFadden

In 2007, cybercriminals will explore new territory. They'll launch attacks using consumer-collaborative sites such as MySpace and YouTube, instant messaging, image spam, send more targeted phishing scams and launch networks of zombie computers.

If you're not careful, you could install malicious software -- malware -- that will open up your PC to criminals. Or fall for a money-making scam.


Malware is an umbrella term for various types of malicious software or programs, including viruses, Trojan horses, worms and spyware. Most of what malware targets is confidential information, says David Marcus, security research and communications manager for McAfee Avert Labs. Malware writers look for data they can steal for a profit or use themselves, he says. "It's very financially motivated."

Unfortunately, cybercriminals can profit off consumers in a host of ways whether they're stealing money or information. Malware can search for passwords on a user's computer or install keystroke-logging software, among other exploits. Fraudsters generate revenue when someone clicks on their spam or through renting out networks of compromised computers called "botnets" to other cybercriminals.

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