The FBI recently announced that it has cracked a major international cybercrime ring that sought to hack into computer networks, infect them with a virus, steal bank account information, and then use that information to loot bank accounts. The criminals were based in eastern Europe — which seems to be the venue of choice for computer crimes these days.
It is good to see that the FBI is having some success in the fight against cybercrime, although I imagine this particular criminal enterprise is just the tip of a very large iceberg. In our modern, world-wide financial system, where so much commerce is done electronically, computer networks are going to increasingly be the targets of criminal activities. Why try to break into a bank vault and figure out how to get away with cash, gold, or other physical objects when you can sit in the safety of your apartment in Ukraine, tap a few keys on your laptop to unload a virus to a faraway computer, and then later download files with crucial information about bank accounts worth millions of dollars while you sip your morning coffee?
Cybercrime is going to be one of those areas of criminal activity where there will be constant back and forth between criminals who develop new hacking tools and schemes and law enforcement agencies that work diligently to catch up with the latest techniques.