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#253871 - 10/23/07 02:36 PM Cybercrime
pedro2
From a newsletter issued today by a leading anti-malware company. Note the passage in bold:-

According to experts, keystroke loggers pose more risk to PC users than any other tool used for committing cybercrime. Also known as keyloggers, they are small programs or hardware devices that monitor each keystroke you type on a specific computer's keyboard, including typos, backspacing and retyping.

Although keyloggers are promoted for benign purposes like allowing parents to monitor their children's whereabouts on the Internet, they can be used to spy on anyone. They are used by cybercriminals to covertly watch and record everything you type on your PC in order to harvest your log-in names, passwords, and other sensitive information, and send it on to the hackers. This may include any passwords you have asked your computer to remember for you to speed up logging in, as these are held as cookies on your machine.

Unfortunately for consumers, keyloggers are becoming very sophisticated. Once on a PC, they can track Web sites visited by the user and only log the keystrokes entered on the Web sites that are of particular interest to the cybercriminal; for example bank sites.

Therefore, keyloggers are an increasingly popular tool among identity thieves and most financial cybercrime is committed using keyloggers, as these programs are the most comprehensive and reliable tool for tracking electronic information. One security company detected just 275 keyloggers in 2001, while the number had reached 6,200 in 2005. Another security company recorded more than a 500 percent increase between January 2003 and July 2006.

Identity theft in all its various guises is one of the fastest growing crimes, with keylogging Trojan software often forming the weapon of choice for would-be fraudsters. According to figures from American consumer watchdog the Federal Trade Commission, almost ten million Americans discovered they were the victims of identity theft during 2003, with total losses approaching $50 billion. According to research, the number of victims has risen by 50 percent since 2003 and the financial loss per consumer has more than doubled from $1,408 in 2005 to $3,257 in 2006.

In 2007, keylogging software found its way onto hundreds of PCs belonging to account holders at the large Swedish bank Nordea. In the biggest heist of customer accounts on record more than $1 million was stolen. Also in 2007, the users of an American retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees were targeted by keyloggers, with cybercriminals taking off with about $35,000 from two dozen user accounts.

In 2005, a businessman from Florida filed a lawsuit against the Bank of America after unknown hackers stole $90,000 from his account and transferred the money to Latvia. An investigation showed that his computer was infected with a malicious program that recorded every keystroke and this was how the hackers got hold of his user name and password. The court did not rule in favor of the plaintiff, saying that he had neglected to take basic precautions when managing his bank account on the Internet: a signature for the malicious code that was found on his system had been added to nearly all anti-virus product databases back in 2003.

Your PC can become infected with keyloggers in various ways. They can be inadvertently downloaded from an infected Web site, email attachment, or by clicking on links. Often cyberthieves are using Trojan-horse software to load keylogging software onto unsuspecting victims' computers.

Recommended methods to protect against keyloggers include keeping all your programs ? anti-virus and firewall software as well as Windows, Office and other applications ? up to date, recognising phishing emails, and avoiding the temptation of clicking links in email that point to potentially dodgy sites hosting malware.

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#254067 - 10/24/07 12:01 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: ]
Danny2 Offline
Pedro2, thanks for the heads up. That's an interesting read. Can you or anyone else suggest a good program that will recover deleted e-mails from a hard drive? Maybe a program I can download and then work with to recover the info off line? Maybe a service where I could send or take the hard drive so I could accomplish my goal? Thanks in advance.

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#254074 - 10/24/07 01:35 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: Danny2]
dabunk Offline
There are companies out there to do this but the cost is very high. There are no home based programs to do it easily or cheaply.

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#254076 - 10/24/07 02:06 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: dabunk]
pedro2
I don't know about emails in particular, but deleted files can often be recovered - usually, in fact, unless special measures have been taken to prevent it. But Dabunk is right - it's a specialist job and very expensive as a one-off. Beware though that if you sell or scrap a computer there will be a vast amount of personal and probably highly confidential information still hidden on the hard drive, and there are people who make it their business to examine these hard drives for nefarious purposes. That's why most businesses remove the hard drives and physically destroy the internal disks.

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#254078 - 10/24/07 02:27 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: ]
Danny2 Offline
dabunk, who are some of these companies? Ballpark how much? Thanks again in advance.

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#254079 - 10/24/07 02:38 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: Danny2]
Bobber Offline
Danny, this is called data recovery or data salvage. do a google on the terms. generally they recover data from a crashed disc, but they should be able to handle data that has been "deleted". When you delete something, it is not actually deleted, just the pointers to the data. The data is still there you just can't get to it via your normal system. If your hard drive has been reformatted, or the data has been written over, it is a bit trickier, but may still be done.
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#254082 - 10/24/07 02:46 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: Bobber]
bobcat bill Offline
i have heard the cost runs $500 to thousands depending on many factors as to size etc.

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#254085 - 10/24/07 03:04 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: bobcat bill]
Bobber Offline
It all depends on how many hoops they have to jump through to recover what you want. If the drive is functional, it is a lot less complicated than if it is damaged. Check with the people who do it for an estimate.
_________________________
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

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#254087 - 10/24/07 03:10 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: Bobber]
Danny2 Offline
Thanks Bobber, that's good info. I'll let you guys know how I do.

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#254094 - 10/24/07 03:44 PM Re: Cybercrime [Re: Danny2]
Bobber Offline
I spent a lot of years working for a drive manufacturer. Our engineers told us that they could recover data that had been written over as many as a dozen times. That was years ago, and I doubt the recovery people are quite that good, as the data is considerable "smaller" now. They typically use software that bypasses the normal operating system and are able to access the data directly rather than rely on the file system you normally use. They know what to look for. If it is e-mails, you might check with the people who wrote the software (like Microsoft if you are using Outlook) and see if they can maybe give you some free advice on what happens to the e-mails if you "mistakenly" delete them and want to recover. This has got to be a common occurance, as we are all human and e-mails are the accepted way of doing business nowadays.
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Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

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