Mexican Drug Gangs Kidnapping Computer Hackers & Programmers

The fact that the Internet is not controlled or policed has brought on some interesting ways criminals have taken advantage of the situation online. The Mexican drug cartel has found a way to make money on the internet in addition to their wealth from dealing in illegal drugs. They are now kidnapping hackers and literally forcing them to hack into people’s individual accounts at large banks. The hackers are then told to keep the money and then deliver the money to specified drug dealers.

The hackers have been getting into online banking accounts like checking accounts, savings accounts, and more. These hacking attacks are taking place in the world’s biggest banks in the United States, Russia and Europe on a daily basis. It is believed that if the drug dealers find that there is a profit to be gained in the abuse of cyber criminals then we'll be seeing these “hacker kidnappings” much more often.

Dmitry Bestuzhev, of the Russian antivirus company Kaspersky Lab, says, “In many cases cyber-crime is not punished at all, despite all the efforts.So, it’s another source of income for drug dealers. Kidnapped (hackers) have to keep the money stolen from online banking, from credit cards and then pass it to drug dealers. Despite all the security efforts, it’s quite difficult to ensure that the user is protected, because the security on the user’s side depends on the user. I strongly believe that if drug dealers see (money) in abusing kidnapped cyber-criminals, they will keep following the same line.”

Banks always tout their safety but is it really safe? Larger banks tend to use very sophisticated equipment that has tight security, perhaps safer than using a smaller bank. The smaller banks that can't afford the most cutting edge security hardware and software generally use security equipment that is more cost effective.

In order to keep your online banking secure you should see to it that you have the very best in anti-virus software and anti-malware programs installed on your computer. In addition, now with the advent of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets you can do your online banking on the go. This may be convenient but communication through a mobile device can be picked up off of insecure wifi networks and your personal information can be at risk. Another reason not use a mobile device for your online banking is that the device is small and can easily be lost. If you do your online banking using this mobile device and your password is stored inside the device app, the finder now has all the information he or she needs to your identify and your bank account.

Your account can also be easily accessed when you make purchases online. There should be a good security system in place when you buy online – always make sure the website is displaying the lock symbol with an encryption notice – often the URL will start with https instead of http. If there is not a good security system in place by the website then your debit or credit card information is at risk.