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Crime Pays: Malware authors enjoy an average 1,425% return on investment

Malware Profits

A recent report from Trustwave on the state of malware relays that online crime, unfortunately, does pay. The report, originally cited by Net Security, relays that attackers on average enjoy a 1,425% return on investment, with the average return checking in at $84,100 on an average initial investment of $5,900.

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The report further found that the type of data most sought after by hackers, not surprisingly, is financial in nature, from credit card track data to log-in credentials to financial sites. What’s somewhat interesting, though, is that the report also found that most victims who fall prey to hacking are wholly unaware that their information has even been compromised.

“The majority of victims, 81 percent, did not detect breaches themselves,” Net Security writes. “The report reveals that self-detection leads to quicker containment of a breach. In 2014, for self-detected breaches, a median of 14.5 days elapsed from intrusion to containment. For breaches detected by an external party, a median of 154 days elapsed from intrusion to containment.”

To help keep consumers more in the loop, many credit card companies these days keep a close eye out for unusual purchases (based on either price or location) and quickly reach out to customers when they detect an irregularity.

As is always the case, keeping hackers at bay remains something of a cat and mouse game. Unfortunately, with so much money at stake, hackers are extremely incentivized to keep at it. What’s worrisome, going forward, is that it’s now easier than ever for users with little technical knowledge to dive head first into the world of malware. Just a few weeks ago, for instance, we highlighted a new piece of software which enables people with limited technical chops to create their own ransomware campaign.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.