Federal authorities busted eight people from Russia, Moldova, and Estonia for what authorities are calling “one of the most sophisticated computer hacking rings in the world.” The ring was able to successfully steal $9 million in less than 12 hours by hacking into payroll debit card information last November.

Hackers are everywhere but the fact that they came from Estonia and Moldova is fascinating. Russia has lots of hackers but Moldova and Estonia aren’t the first places most people think of when it comes to brilliant hackers.

The money came up missing from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in Atlanta in 2008. The band of hackers was able to successfully break the encryption that was protecting customer data on payroll debit cards at the bank. After breaking in, and stealing the customer date they even raised the account limits on the compromised accounts. Thus getting even more money and messing up numerous accounts.

Then the ring of hackers had a group of “cashers” set up. There were 44 counterfeit payroll debit cards in which $9 million was withdrawn from over 2,100 ATMS in 280 cities worldwide.  Most of which were located in the U.S. The investigation is ongoing but at least the authorities won indictments against the eight people. This was a monstrous undertaking and it would be interesting to know the man hours and logistics that went behind this operation.

Hacking is a huge problem and it’s only getting worse. Attacks are launched continuously at private sites as well as government sites. There are hackers that work alone, for companies, and their governments. Just last summer North Korea started a new military unit with 100 hackers onboard.

This special military unit of hackers was given the specific duty of infiltrating enemy networks and stealing sensitive data. The group is also responsible for creating malicious programs that have the ability to take down IT infrastructure if a war breaks out.

This is no laughing matter and the idea is terrifying. There are constantly reports on the news about cyber attacks against the U.S. government usually from North Korea, China, or Russia. Just a few months ago hackers got into the U.S. electric grid and government websites. They were responsible for disruptions and viruses that completely shut down the system for two weeks.

IT Security is extremely important and there is a high demand for professionals. Governments and companies are constantly looking for specialists with the skills, knowledge, and ability to solve problems. They earn high salaries and are responsible for the security of the site which protects the operations of the site as well as data and money.

Massive cyber attacks not only affect customers and companies, but also citizens. Everyday at every hour and every single minute there are cyber attacks. Anything is possible with a computer and the internet, which is why these attacks are so dangerous. There is a high demand for IT professionals that specialize in security and fighting off hackers and their malicious programs.

Everyone has enemies out there and it’s important to protect yourself from attacks. A degree in Information Technology and Security will put you on the fast track to a  career that will protect companies and government from outside attacks. This is a billion dollar business and you may be able to prevent the next $9 million dollar hacking job from happening.

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