Perfect crime

Agile business processes, variable pricing, outsourcing, centres of excellence: one industry is so mature in its adoption of technology-enabled business best practices that it puts all others to shame.

That industry is the global electronic crime network. According to the latest Internet Security Threat report from security technology vendor Symantec, the e-crime underworld operates as a masterclass in 21st century business methods.

The second half of 2007 saw an increase in ‘supermarket-type’ bulk pricing deals for stolen data, with some criminals even offering customers samplers of user data, the report found.

E-crime networks are exploiting the “global delivery model” touted by IT services providers, sourcing work from countries with specific expertise – and lax legislation. China, for example, has become the ‘phishing’ capital of the world. And as credit card providers find new ways to deter theft, e-criminals are finding new data to steal and exploit.

“The above methods would not be out of place in a current MBA textbook teaching the next generation of business leaders,” says Richard Archdeacon, senior director of global services at Symantec, “but instead we find some of the most up-to-date business methods being used to great effect within the global organised crime world.”

Further reading:

Cyber assault The threat to the UK’s critical IT infrastructure from cyber terrorists and activists is growing.

Cyber-crime goes SaaS On-demand application for identity thieves emerges.

Find more stories in the Security & Continuity Briefing Room

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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