SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec 09, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- McAfee, Inc. (NYSE:MFE) today announced findings from its annual cybersecurity study in which experts warned that the recession is proving a hotbed for fraudulent activity as cybercriminals capitalize on a climate of consumer fear and anxiety. The economic downturn is diverting political attention worldwide and cybersecurity is not enough of a priority around the globe for real headway to be made against the perpetrators of online crime. Experts warned that unless significant resources are committed to international efforts to fight malicious cyberactivity, there is a risk that cybercrime will impact consumer confidence, further hindering the speed of global recovery.
The annual McAfee® Virtual Criminology Report examines emerging global cyber security trends, with input from leading academics, criminal lawyers, law enforcement authorities and security experts across the world. This year's report identified the following challenges: The Cyber Credit Crunch- Cybercriminals are cashing in on consumer anxiety to profit from old-fashioned 'get rich quick' scams. People are signing up to add malicious code to websites, lured by the promise of easy money. At the same time, desperate job seekers are being recruited as 'money mules' to launder cybercriminal gains under the guise of 'international sales representatives' or 'shipping managers'. With the economic downturn driving more people to the Web to seek the best deals, opportunities for cybercriminals to attack are on the rise as people are more easily drawn in. Governments are distracted - As governments are focusing on the economic downturn, the fight against cybercrime slips down their agenda, creating an opportunity for cybercrime to escalate in severity. The Cybercop Shortage - Police forces on the front line often lack the specialist skills required to effectively fight cybercrime. The absence of dedicated and ongoing training, sufficient remuneration or a clear career path is causing cybercops to be poached by the private sector or to be lured into underground economies. Criminality Concealed - Russia and China have become key safe havens for cybercriminals. Brazil has become one of the fastest growing 'scapegoat' countries for cybercrime where traffic is often re-routed as a decoy causing considerable misdirection in the origin of attacks. Information Silo: Problems are expanding exponentially - Law enforcement is bound to physical national boundaries, while cybercriminals operate fast across borders. Communication between countries remains inconsistent and limited. Local issues and priorities take precedence over global efforts and international laws are being implemented with regional variations that impede the ability to negotiate jurisdiction and extradition between countries.
Dave DeWalt, CEO and President, McAfee said: "Cybercriminals are exploiting the global recession by luring susceptible victims through the promise of easy money. While the attention of governments and law enforcement bodies is diverted by the current economic crisis, the door is left open for cybercriminals to continue to target bank balances worldwide and to potentially damage the consumer trust needed to aid economic recovery. Governments need to commit to funding the resources needed to combat cybercrime, streamline law enforcement efforts and coordinate police actions across national borders. Everyone must play their part in a global battle that has only just begun and will continue long into 2009 and beyond if not properly addressed."
The McAfee Virtual Criminology Report 2008 is available for download at www.mcafee.com/fightcybercrime. To learn more about the research findings and opinions, please visit the McAfee Security Insights blog at http://siblog.mcafee.com/portalAbout McAfee, Inc.McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. It delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that secure systems and networks around the world, allowing users to browse and shop the Web securely. With its unmatched security expertise and commitment to innovation, McAfee empowers home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to comply with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities and continuously monitor and improve their security. http://www.mcafee.com. McAfee, Avert and/or other noted McAfee related products contained herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc., and/or its affiliates in the US and/or other countries. McAfee Red in connection with security is distinctive of McAfee brand products. Any other non-McAfee related products, registered and/or unregistered trademarks contained herein is only by reference and are the sole property of their respective owners.
© 2008 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved. SOURCE: McAfee, Inc.