Criminal threat to data centres

Cyber criminals are becoming more ambitious and are more likely to target large enterprise data centres in order to make off with billions of pounds, according to an expert.

According to Richard Stiennon, chief marketing officer of security company Fortinet, 2007 will be the year that hackers turn to attacking enterprise data centres in a manner that could double their cyber crime revenue - moving their market to between 2 billion and 4 billion.

"As the market for identities becomes more efficient and accessible, that only increases the value of large collections of information that contain credit card data, and identity data," said Stiennon. "That justifies the investment on the part on the cyber criminal in the effort to break into ecommerce sites, insurance companies, banks, credit agencies and the like to capture that data and resell it."

He said that cyber extortion attempts would no longer be limited to financial institutions or enterprises, and even local governments, schools and manufacturers could find themselves trying to protect against normally business-focused attacks.

He predicted that the hacker economy would grow "substantially in revenue in 2007".

"This includes break-ins to online bank accounts accomplished by phishing, spyware, and brute force," he said "Also, extortion proceeds from threatening either a DoS attack or the more traditional revelation of embarrassing weaknesses in computer defences.

Stiennon added that identity theft leading to the creation and abuse of credit cards, ATM cards, loan applications and purchases will also continue to grow.

"While there will probably be some new twists on the techniques and targets; most of the growth will be organic in the sense that there will be more and more criminals getting into this business in 2007," he said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.