Internet under attack by zombie computers

January 8, 2007

Computer code writers in Europe are the chief suspects in the creation of programs that turn other computers into zombie-like slaves for Internet crimes.

Computer experts in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are likely behind the newest computer crime plaguing the Internet, which has turned innocent users into unwitting participants and left security experts stumped, The New York Times reported.

By inserting small programs into others' computers, electronic criminals can harness the collective power of multiple computers to commit more elaborate online crimes.

"It's the perfect crime, both low-risk and high-profit," computer security researcher Gadi Evron said. "The war to make the Internet safe was lost long ago, and we need to figure out what to do now."

While some zombie computer crimes have been linked to computers running Linux or Macintosh operating systems, officials have warned that Windows systems are the most susceptible.

Security experts have been unable to defend against such crimes, but some products and services are available to improve online security, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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