Money makes the world go around. Those who don’t have it, want it, and those who have it – want more of it. Organized crimes operations are know for their insatiable thirst for it.
With the recent arrest of Albert Gonzales and his 2 “coworkers”, indicted for hacking into TJX, Heartland Payment Systems and other enterprises, we are satisfied inasmuch that we can put a human face to the attacker. We want to think that the other criminals will be deterred in the future from doing things he did because we caught him. We want to think that all will be right with the (cyber)world from now on.
Of course, that’s not going to happen. The previously mentioned crime operations recruit the talented individuals to do the dirty work for them, and there will always be plenty of those with lots of talent and no cash. Also, when it’s raining, it’s always best to have a big umbrella covering you.
In this case, further information about the unnamed hackers Gonzales worked with is yet to be released – the only thing we know is that they are Russian. It’s not yet known for sure if they a part of a bigger crime organization.
Paul Ferguson and other researchers at Trend Micro have been tracking this kind of activities (hacking of businesses, stealing credit cards) during the past few years and have discovered that many links to operations in Eastern Europe (Russia and Ukraine especially). Their intention is to keep tracking it and hopefully help with the identifying of the people behind it.
The bad news is this kind of criminal activity is steadily on the rise, and judging from the origins of these activities, we have a long battle ahead of us.