Malware has evolved throughout the past decade to become a major industry in itself. It has a complicated economic infrastructure and a population of well-organized, well-funded criminal gangs; highly motivated and highly trained programmers churning out massive volumes of malicious code and exploits; and talented creatives thinking up new and more sophisticated methods of bypassing the weakest link in any electronic security system—the human mind.
The cybercrime economy
The monetary profits from cybercrime are immense. Because of this, the amount of resources dedicated to cybercrime increases enormously each year. With the economic troubles facing the world, the problem has only grown.
Honest money is harder to come by, more people are being lured into the world of crime, and programmers who cannot find jobs in legitimate software houses are more easily recruited by criminal gangs.
In addition, it's easier for hackers to trick everyday folks into becoming mules for money laundering, and to cheat them out of their cash or valuable data. Cybercriminals scare people into believing their banking information has been exposed, often through emails. These techniques have risen in tandem with those promising great bargains, such as the online pharmacy and fake luxury goods spam campaigns.
Is your country doing enough to protect itself from internet attack by another nation?
Source: Sophos Poll
With this ever-growing menace to society becoming more visible to the masses, police around the world have stepped up efforts to combat cybercrime and take down the gangs profiting from it.
With coordinated international efforts still hampered by the lack of a global approach to the problem, frameworks for sharing information and resources are showing signs of improving, and a number of arrests and successful prosecution took place in the last year.