According to an NPR report on cyber crime, a massive underground industry has emerged. On hidden websites, key-loggers go for just $50, malware packages including a list of 10,000 exploitable emails are available for just $79. Botnets can be used for as low as $16. It is easier than ever for criminals to setup shop and access information from banks and other financial institutions.

No coding skills are necessary to drain accounts of $500,000 from just a $200 investment. The NPR reporter who interviewed Tom Pagler, a former secret service agent, said that platinum cards on the underground Tor website are selling for less than gold cards. Sophisticated criminals do analysis to find out which banks have weakest security, and exploit accordingly.

Credit limits are less important. “For them, they’ll know based on a bank ID number which bank it is, and where they’re getting the best return on fraud,” Pagler is quoted as saying.

The relative simplicity of robbing banks via computer has flocks of seasoned thieves making the switch from traditional crimes. At the same time, the low risk and investment cost has thousands more new criminals joining their ranks each day.

Edgewave’s fully integrated Financial Services product line can protect banks and their customers by preventing a costly disaster from happening. It is imperative to close up security weak spots before malicious operators profit from them.