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Spyware Evolution Spawns ‘New Breed’ of Hackers, Kaspersky Says

Hackers across the globe are taking cyber crime to a new level, using social networks to collect personal information and steal people’s identities, according to Kaspersky Lab, Russia’s largest anti-virus software developer.

A “new breed” of cyber criminals is targeting personal information beyond the traditional data for credit cards, Kurt Baumgartner, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky, said at a company-sponsored conference in Moscow today. A new generation of malware targets every piece of data that can be stolen.

“This year will be more of a turning point,” Baumgartner said. The aim of the new spyware “is to steal everything, whether it’s your hair color, your eye color, whom you know, where you are and creating data warehouses to maintain an exchange of this information about you.”

Publishing streams of data from embassy cables by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks will further motivate criminals seeking gain through publicizing private information.

“You should take WikiLeaks very personally even if you were not affected directly,” Stefan Tanase, senior security researcher at Kaspersky, said at the same conference.

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