From Canoe's CNEWS:
CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Internet Geeky hackers replaced by for-profit criminals:
Experts in combating cyber threats say they’ve seen a fundamental change in the past year, from the kinds of hacker attacks aimed at bringing down networks to targeted probes by criminals after money.
“I think that probably the overarching theme we’re looking at is that crime for profit motivation has really found the Internet,” says Vincent Weafer, Los Angeles-based senior director of development for Symantec Security Response, which markets the Norton suite of computer security products.
It’s enough to produce nostalgia for the days of basement-dwelling geeks who simply wanted to erase your hard drive for fun.
Today, says Weafer, full-blown thieves lurk in cyberspace armed with tools capable of sucking confidential information out of unprotected computers. They can also turn them into zombies and rent them to organized crime for a few hundred dollars as part of a so-called “bot nets” used to flood the web with dubious spam."