Crimeware

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What Does Crimeware Mean?

Crimeware is any computer program designed for the express purpose of conducting malicious and illegal activities online. Although adware, spyware and malware can all be used to conduct illegal activity, crimeware refers to programs that are meant to automate the theft of information, allowing the thief to gain access to a person’s financial accounts online.

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The term was coined by Peter Cassidy, the Secretary General of the Anti-Phishing Group.

Techopedia Explains Crimeware

Criminals employ a variety of methods to steal information through crimeware, including:

  • Crimeware can redirect a user’s Web browser to a counterfeit website controlled by the thief.
  • Crimeware can enable remote access of applications, allowing criminals to break into networks.
  • Crimeware can be used to steal passwords cached on a user’s system.
  • Crimeware can install keystroke loggers to collect data, such as password and login information for online bank accounts.
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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.