New front in cybercrime

Programs that attack email accounts and users of social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have become a new front in cybercrime.

To carry out many of these automated attacks, cybercriminals first must overcome “captchas,” the distorted letters and characters that users of an email or social-networking account are required to type to complete certain online forms. For years, captchas have helped to stop or bog down automated programs aimed at creating email accounts that promote scams such as fake computer virus protection and bogus accounts on social Web sites that can be used to collect personal information on legitimate users.

A growing number of captcha-breaking groups are using real people to type in captcha responses for cyber gangs around the world. This is allowing the gangs to create fake email and social-network accounts by the tens of thousands – and use them as the starting point for a variety of cyber scams spread by email and instant messages.

MySpace and Facebook say that, so far, they have kept such attacks largely in check.

Many security researchers say that as long as captchas are a key security feature on networking Web sites, cyber attacks on such sites are likely to intensify.

So the cyber criminal have found another way around a security solution, but this does not mean that you should stop using captacha because not every so called hacker can get around this. You also have to realise that if a high skilled hackers really want to break into a website they will find a way, but the majority of people that claim to be hackers are not highly skilled. Protecting you self from cyber crime when on line is difficult especially since that environment is changing so fast that it’s almost imposable for everyone to keep up.

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