|10 Feb 2011||#1|
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Your guide to the seven types of malicious hackers
When I learned over the weekend that hackers had planted malware on a Nasdaq Web server, I wasn't exactly surprised. It's the rare company that isn't owned by hackers. Even the most well-defended organization will likely find itself under attack by outsiders.
Whether you're attacked today or tomorrow, it's important to understand the motivation and objective of your intruders -- doing so can help you devise an appropriate defense. Malicious hackers can, in fact, be broken out under some broad classifications.
Malicious hacker No. 1: Cyber criminals
Professional criminals comprise the biggest group of malicious hackers, using malware and exploits to steal money. It doesn't matter how they do it, whether they're manipulating your bank account, using your credit card numbers, faking antivirus programs, or stealing your identity or passwords. Their motivation is fast, big financial gain.
Malicious hacker No. 2: Spammers and adware spreaders
Purveyors of spam and adware make their money through illegal advertising, either getting paid by a legitimate company for pushing business their way or by selling their own products. Cheap Viagra, anyone? Members of this group believe they are just "aggressive marketers." It helps them sleep at night.
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