Cybercrime is now Mainstream

Raimund talks about how viruses have changed during his 20 years in the industry and how cybercrime has now gone mainstream.

Twenty years ago my interested in content security started. I wasn’t starting antivirus and everyone was asking me, do we really need this? Why do we need this? Are there even viruses around? Later on I started to work with antivirus products, started to resell them. And actually I was asked is it true that all the antivirus companies are creating these viruses, doing this fear uncertainty and doubt to ensure that they sell more products. And at this time we didn’t see too many malware. Malware actually went mainstream I would say in the year 2000 with a large view which showed globally the negative effect a big infection could have.
But now a days people don’t think so much about it because Malware doesn’t kill your computer, doesn’t crash the systems. It tries to be silent. And this makes it so dangerous. And malware clearly is mainstream nowadays. I was reading Wired magazine and the complete issue was about the underworld, about the digital underground. Ok Wired magazine is not a mainstream magazine. It’s more for people interested in new technologies. But just today I bought a new copy of Spiegel. Spiegel is read by 6 million people in Germany and it talks about the digital underworld as well. So it’s mainstream and it’s showing what’s going on in Germany. And in Germany I would say, my home country, people are more sensitive about computer security. The way we do online banking, definitely more secure than in other countries. But, in Europe one of the biggest underground markets is actually Germany because we have reliable bandwidth, a lot of money to spend and if it works in Germany, maybe it’s tested in Germany, it works everywhere. So the digital underground definitely is using Germany as one of the major markets. So it’s a worldwide problem. So, welcome cyber crime to mainstream. This means for us to be very careful as users of computer systems because you could be infected even if you’ve invested a lot for security. For us as a security vendor this means we have to establish better technologies to be ahead of the bad guys. It’s a constant battle. Its’ a constant challenge between us and them. And 100% security is not possible. But on the other hand, if you don’t invest in security you’ll be infected for sure because as I mentioned, it’s mainstream.

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