Identity Theft Expert; Conficker Virus Countdown

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker

News of Conficker out of control then under control is everywhere.

60 minutes reports on everything we have discussed in these posts. Main stream media has recognized the Internet has a cancerous virus and is infected. Criminal hackers are creating viruses infecting webpages in record numbers all in the name of money.

Security professionals are losing sleep as they race against the bad guys in anticipation of the next big breach.

Conficker is big news as its infecting mainly corporate networks at an astonishing estimated 10-12 million PCs and this sleeper cell is set to get its next set of updates April 1st.

Like Al Queda operatives living amongst us, cyber terrorists waiting for their next communiqué from a remote cave, Conficker waits to strike.

Nobody knows what’s going to happen April Fools, but security professional have a plan. Do you?

By all accounts Conficker has the potential capacity to steal data or launch a massive denial of service attack which encompasses massive amounts of data, flooding the Net, bogging down mainframe servers that distribute data to our inboxes.

60 Minutes used the example of what I did on CNN describing a Facebook hack and used a Morley Safer Facebook account that may be hacked with Conficker and begins to send messages to Morleys friends. Then Leslie Stahl who is a Morely “friend” receives an email looking like it’s from Morelys Facebook account to click a video. That video has a destructive payload that infects Leslies machine and the virus replicates itself to Leslies contacts.

Now Morelys PC has a virus that records all his keystrokes and Leslie is just as vulnerable. Bank accounts are cracked, credit card log-ins are stolen, the contents of their My Documents folders are copied and sent to Turkey and identities are stolen. People who don’t have any identity theft protection face years of dealing with creditors who accuse them of being bad debtors.

Malware is showing up on thousands of websites compromised in numerous ways and infecting computer users whose defenses are down.

Most attacks can be prevented with updated anti virus like McAfee or others. But with an estimated 15,000 new infections daily it’s difficult for the every day user to protect themselves unless they are automatically downloading virus definitions. And that may not be enough.

Criminal hackers come in all shapes and colors from every corner of the world. Russian hackers are often depicted as the best of the worst. These cyber criminals are often put on a pedestal in their communities as they brag about their accomplishments, hacking wealthy hacker Americans and stealing 10s of thousands of dollars monthly and spending that money in their remote villages.

Russian authorities generally don’t prosecute and may even employ criminals to steal from greedy Americans. As long as hate and money are motivators, foreign governments will groom and incite talented 14 year olds into a life of crime.

This story is far from over.

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discusses online banking security here

I’m excited to work with uni-ball in 2009 in a partnership to help raise awareness about the growing threat of identity theft and provide tips for protecting yourself. Check out for more information

1 reply
  1. Heather Smith
    Heather Smith says:

    Hi, I’m a Student at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo. I’m doing a report over identity theft and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. I would greatly appriecate it.
    1. How often do the victims of Identity Theft have to pay back the full amount that the theif bought in merchandise?
    2. What do most of the expenses go to in order to clear up the victim’s name?
    3. What are some of the worst cases you have studied?
    ~Thank you very much for your help. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Heather Smith


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