In Box

Crash of Civilizations

Like any French or Japanese chef, cybercriminals apparently have specialties, too. Researchers at Verizon spent four years examining 500 cases of corporate data breaches and found that different regions are developing different types of hacking expertise. Attacks traced to Asia, for example, tend to target personal information in common software applications. Eastern Europe, with its ...

Like any French or Japanese chef, cybercriminals apparently have specialties, too. Researchers at Verizon spent four years examining 500 cases of corporate data breaches and found that different regions are developing different types of hacking expertise. Attacks traced to Asia, for example, tend to target personal information in common software applications. Eastern Europe, with its entrenched organized crime networks and a technically skilled, yet often underemployed populace, is a hotbed for lucrative identity theft. Middle Easterners often deface Web sites, fighting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict online. To Carnegie Mellon University expert Nick Ianelli, the parallels to the real world are clear. "If you look at the backgrounds of the respective regions," says Ianelli, "it… reflect[s] what is going on in the physical side." Still, says Bryan Sartin, Verizon’s director of investigative response, understanding these regional patterns hasn’t made solving crimes any easier. For investigators, that’s enough to ruin any meal.

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