Lack of jobs is driving IT pros to malware

Lack of jobs is driving IT pros to malware

Virus writers earn more than legitimate technology jobs in some parts of the world

The growing number of cyber criminals in areas of Asia and Eastern-Europe is the result of a lack of IT jobs for qualified professionals, according to a report from vendor Mcafee.

And the growing trade in malware means that authors can sell their code to other criminals without actually releasing their viruses.

Writing malware is a hard option to ignore, according to Joe Telafici, vice president of operations at Mcafee.

"The motivation to engage in illegal behavior is strong in Eastern Europe where technical skills were widely taught during the Cold War but economic opportunities are limited," he said.

"The same is true in Asia, where population growth has stretched strong economic performance to the limits."

In China, 43 per cent of IT graduates are unemployed, and hacker "training" web sites are creating a pool of effective malware authors and paying them like a legitimate business.

In September last year, Chinese courts sentenced malware author Li Jun, 25, to four years in prison.

Li Jun had graduated from an IT training college and earned three times China's average salary writing malware, despite being offered legitimate positions in the business world.