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A more sophisticated hacker

Janet Babin Mar 19, 2007

SCOTT JAGOW: Computer hackers are a royal pain in the you-know-what. But a lot of them just cause problems to get notoriety. To prove they can outsmart the big companies. Well, a new report suggests hackers may be doing it for another reason — your money. Janet Babin reports from our Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.

JANET BABIN: Computer hackers targeted 11 percent more home computers in the last half of 2006 than in the first half. And the hackers will now target Vista, Microsoft’s new operating system. That according to a Symantec study out today. The hackers are looking for potentially lucrative credit card and Social Security numbers.

But David Berlind with ZDNet says maybe there are just more computers in the world. He says hacker techniques haven’t changed a whole lot. What has changed, he says, is Symantec — the company that created the study:

DAVID BERLIND: It’s not surprising to see a company like Symantec that is now threatened by Microsoft’s entry into the anti-malware business to be scaring people into thinking they need more software.

The FBI reported last week that the value of online frauds climbed to nearly $200 million last year. And Berlind says ZDNet rated Symantec’s software higher than McAfee’s and Microsoft’s Live OneCare.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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