Google engineer, Justin Schuh was recently interviewed by Business Insider, and he had much to say about the state of computer crime in the present day.
Schuh was originally hired by Google in 2009 as the first full-time security engineer for the Chrome browser. Previous to that, he worked for IBM and the NSA. In his interview with Business Insider, he said that hacking and computer crime is on the rise, in part, because there is more money in it now than ever. Whereas personal gratification drove previous generations of hackers, today’s cyber criminals are making big money – and that’s drawing more would-be assailants into the business.”
While many people understandably assume that hacking and spam are essentially distinct from one another, Schuh pointed out that there are strong links between online annoyances and outright computer crime.
“A lot of computer crime is very big business,” he said. “People are trying to build up large botnets so that they can either sell out access to them for denial of service attacks or use them to funnel spam. It really has become its own industry.”
He went on to stress the importance of being cautious when it comes to installing applications from unreliable sources. Specifically, he warned against third-party extensions for Chrome. These plug-ins make it easier for unscrupulous developers to trick users into downloading software that they don’t want to have on their computer. This could be spyware, programmes that track keystrokes and ultimately steal personal or a variety of other malware.
The good news is that, as more money is being made in cybercrime, more funds are also being allocated to its prevention. Global spending on information security has risen dramatically in the last few months and years. And according to Garter research, spending is expected to increase by more than 8 per cent in 2015.