The days of hacking for status and pride are way behind us. Nowadays the main motivation behind cyber attacks is financials gains. Of course there are other reasons, nation state, threat actors, and things like that. But from the commercial perspective, attackers are going towards the money. The data that will generate money, the identity which can be exchanged by money, ransomware, these type of things. Hackers almost always looking for financial gains. This is the main motivation nowadays.
It’s important to understand that company of any size can be a target. The rationale that only large organizations will be the target is completely untrue. Attackers often go towards mid and small-sized companies, because it easier to hack into their system and hijack and they don’t have the security controls in place. For example in 2017 companies losses related to tech support fraud raised to 15 million. The number of losses related to ransomware attacks raised to 2.3 million. And if we look at the cost prediction from 2015 to 2021, we’re gonna to double the amount of cost with cyber crime. It is important that every single customer that is migrating to the cloud, have this mindset that they need to leverage cloud resources to enhance their secure portion overall.
In this slide you have a structure of a criminal infrastructure that can be used globally. These guys shouldn’t be in the same physical location, usually they don’t even know each other, for the most part they communicate through the dark web, different criminals have different activities and responsibilities. For example the developer is the one that we are creating malware, this guy has a very specific skill. He knows programming language and he will pieces of malicious code and then sell to hacker that will buy that malware. Sometimes hacker buy a whole kit and this kit can be used to perform a series of actions not just steal a credentials or perform a brute force attack. And then there is cyber criminal himself which will buy from the hacker the credentials that were stolen. This guy for the most part is the one that is going to receive the cash from the organization that hired him to do this whole thing.
Now it is a global enterprise, it is not one single person that it used to be 20 years ago. That’s why it’s so hard track it down. Stolen data is very inexpensive, compromised accounts come in bulk and in very large blocks, prices can as ow as $1 per account.
So, as more and more sophisticated cyber threats come along, the best approach is constant vigilance. You should assume that most likely you will be the victim of a big data breach or major hack attack.
*This article is based on Microsoft Press media, Pearson Education materials and Yury Doigines lecture