Malware and Crimeware
Malware, short for malicious software, and crimeware, consist of various types of software, viruses, worms and Trojan Horses designed to run executable programs on your computer. These programs do not need your consent to operate, and are designed to harm or secretly access your computer and its information, causing your personal information to be transmitted to thieves.
How Does Malware and Crimeware Theft Occur?
Either through email or website downloads, malware and crimeware install themselves onto your computer, and begin to run. Once they are running, they transmit your personal information, via the Internet, to remote computers, where your information is stored and sold at a later date to counterfeiters.
What Is the Cost of Malware and Crimeware Theft?
Out of more than 18 million computers scanned during April – June 2010, over half of these computers were infected with malware. Of these infections, more than 17% were Banking Trojans/Password Stealers, software programs designed specifically to steal the passwords and banking related information stored on your computer.1 And, according to an article from PandaLabs, a leading malware research organization, the total estimated cost in the US alone was approximately $1.5 billion in 2008.2
Information thieves can collect:
- Social Security numbers
- Email and street addresses
- Credit card and bank account numbers
- Logon IDs
What thieves can do with this information:
- Identity theft
- Employment-related fraud
- Loan fraud/payday loan fraud
- Bank fraud
- Benefit fraud
- Tax fraud
- Other identity fraud
Malware and Crimeware Statistics:
- Over 50% of scanned computers were infected with Malware and Crimeware.1
- Banking Trojans/Password Stealers accounted for more than 17% of these infections.1
- The total estimated cost of US identity theft from malware in 2008 was estimated at $1.5 billion.2