Crimeware is a class of malware designed specifically to automate cybercrime.
Crimeware (as distinct from spyware and adware) is designed to perpetrate identity theft through social engineering or technical stealth in order to access a computer user's financial and retail accounts for the purpose of taking funds from those accounts or completing unauthorized transactions that enrich the cyberthief. Alternatively, crimeware may steal confidential or sensitive corporate information. Crimeware represents a growing problem in network security as many malicious code threats seek to pilfer confidential information.
Criminals use a variety of techniques to steal confidential data through crimeware, including through the following methods:
Crimeware threats can be installed on victims' computers through multiple delivery vectors, including:
Crimeware can have significant economic impact due to loss of sensitive and proprietary information and associated financial losses. One survey estimates that in 2005 organizations lost in excess of $30 million due to the theft of proprietary information. The theft of financial or confidential information from corporate networks often places the organizations in violation of government and industry-imposed regulatory requirements that attempt to ensure that financial, personal and confidential.
US laws and regulations include: