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Today's Hackers Chase Bucks, Not Bragging Rights

There's a new generation of hackers on the loose, but unlike previous waves who were content to wreck havoc for bragging rights, these guys are after the gold, not the glory.

Malicious code cases surged in October by over 20 percent, lead by a resurgence in Bagle and MyDoom and a continued push by money-hungry hackers who are flooding the Internet with Trojans designed to steal dough, not gain notoriety, said a security firm report released this week.

"What we're seeing is one big new malware cycle," said Joe Hartmann, the director of Trend Micro's North American anti-virus research efforts. "A worm first infects a system, then perhaps downloads an additional infection component like a Trojan horse or a bot, and before you know it, the machine is infected with everything necessary hacker remote control."

Trend Micro, which is headquartered in Tokyo and known for its PC-cillin anti-virus line, noted that even though October was a relatively quiet month in major outbreaks, it saw a 22 percent jump in new malicious code detected compared to September.

The biggest threats are Trojan horses, backdoors, and backdoor-seeding worms, all of which are released into the wild by for-profit hackers with money on their minds, said Hartmann.

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