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The Syndicate

By themselves, spam, viruses, Trojan horses, and hackers are serious threats that can be difficult to defend against. Think of them as Catwoman, the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler from the old Batman show. Alone, each villain was a formidable threat for the Dynamic Duo. However, in the Batman movie, the criminal masterminds teamed up to take on Batman and Robin. This chapter considers what happens when spammers, virus writers, Trojan horse authors, and hackers team up to defeat your defenses.

Case Study 6-3

Carl remembered the first time he created a virus. He was still in school and had done it just to see if he could. The virus caused some minor damage at the school, but didn't spread very far.

How things had changed since then. Now Carl was creating a virus and actually getting paid to do it. This virus was intended to infect computers and configure them to send out spam messages. By having access to a large number of zombie machines to relay spam through, the spammers could mask their identities and continue their assault.

The spammer who ordered this virus was very specific about what he wanted the software to do and how it needed to avoid detection. Viruses and spam had come together to enable each other and had become big business at the same time. Carl wasn't sure about all the implications, but his paycheck would pay for some new computer gear, and that was cool with him.



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