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Online Dangers Likely to Continue Growing in 2005

By Brian Krebs, Robert MacMillan and David McGuire
washingtonpost.com Staff Writers
Thursday, December 16, 2004; 7:44 AM

Internet users witnessed yet another wave of spam, worms, viruses and other online attacks in 2004, and experts predict the online world will grow even more dangerous in 2005.

U.S. and international authorities tried to keep up with the online crime wave in the past year, arresting or convicting at least 11 virus writers and rounding up hundreds of people accused of computer crimes from credit card fraud to outright identity theft.

Still, most fraudsters, hackers and spammers managed to stay one step ahead of the law. "I liken the problem of online crime to the '20s and '30s, when law enforcement was still trying to figure out who all the gangsters were. They'd have a few arrests here and there but mostly the mafia types were just running circles around them," said Marcus Sachs, a former White House cyber-security adviser who now directs the SANS Internet Storm Center, which monitors hacker trends.

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