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Cyber Theft Threats

In addition to the dangerous and lucrative activities of professional cybercriminals, there are also risks from some petty forms of cyber-theft.

The reasons behind petty theft

Following the emergence of Internet services – including mail, web and hosting services – members of the ‘computer underground’ looked for ways to benefit from these services, without having to pay for them. These petty criminals used specially developed Trojans, in order to steal a legitimate user’s login and password – or to steal several logins and passwords from several infected computers.

Originally, many of these Trojans were written by young people that couldn’t afford to pay for Internet services:

  • 1997 saw the spread of Trojans designed to steal AOL passwords.
  • In 1998, Trojans of this kind started to affect other Internet services.
  • In later years – with reductions in the cost of Internet services – this type of activity started to decrease.

Man on phone and computer using antivirus

Today’s petty theft threats

Despite the lower cost of Internet services, Trojans that steal the passwords for dial-up, AOL and ICQ – plus access codes for other services – still represent a considerable part of the everyday inflow of cyber threats that are handled by antivirus labs. However, there are also some additional forms of petty theft:

  • Thieves are creating other types of Trojans – that steal account information and key files of various program products and resources from infected computers, for the benefit of the thief.
  • In recent years, there has also been a constant increase in the number of Trojans that steal personal information from network games (gaming ‘virtual property’), for unauthorised use or resale.

How to protect yourself against petty theft

Anti-malware solutions that combine signature-based detection, proactive heuristic analysis and cloud-assisted technologies can help to secure your devices and data against both recognised Trojans and new or emerging cyber threats.

Kaspersky Lab offers multi-layer anti-malware products – that combine powerful technologies running on your device, plus cloud-assisted services – to deliver improved protection for:

  • Windows PCs
  • Linux computers
  • Apple Macs
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets

Cyber Theft Threats

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