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Malicious hackers get sneakier

Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz of the USA Today used court records and interviews with regulators, security experts and independent investigators to illustrate the mindset of the growing fraternity of hackers and cyberthieves born after 1985. "They also provide a glimpse of Cybercrime Inc.'s most versatile and profitable tool." The arrests of three young men show that the malicious-software spreaders are getting sneakier and more prevalent. The arrests underscore an ominous shift in the struggle to keep the Internet secure: Cybercrime undergirded by networks of bots — PCs infected with malicious software that allows them to be controlled by an attacker — is soaring. Despite their notoriety, these three young men represent mere flickers in the Internet underworld. More elite hackers collaborating with organized crime groups take pains to cover their tracks — and rarely get caught.

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