Work From Home for the Russian Mafia!

A recent article on SecurityFocus details the experience of having an FBI computer intrusion expert speak to a technology class at Washington University in St. Louis. It’s a very interesting read. The agent explains how many of the new virus/trojan horse hybrids are being propagated by professionals, namely the Russian mafia. One detail that I found interesting is how organized crime side-steps one of the most common fraud prevention methods available to businesses: refusing to ship products to Eastern Europe, Russia, and other areas known for rampant crime. The mob simply hires middlemen in the U.S. to accept the initial shipments at home and then reship them to countries such as Russia, Belorussia, and Ukraine. Apparently, many of the ads that say “Make money! Work at home!” actually involve laundering products for the Russian mafia. Who would have thought?

Another interesting fact from the article is that many of the security people at the FBI headquarters actually use Macs. They say the use OS X because of its flexibility (it can run software made for Mac, Unix, and Windows operating systems), the option of using the GUI or the command line (Terminal), and because they are secure out of the box. You can’t really say that about Windows PCs!