Sharing information in the workplace is usually a good thing. However, research has found that now, the most skilled cyber threat groups are starting to co-operate at a higher level, making attribution harder and increasing online crime.
The research was taken from open source materials, along with a cyber threatscape report from professional services firm, Accenture. It suggests that the effectiveness of attack campaigns has increased thanks to top cybercrime groups using a new operating model.
Criminals forming working bonds
Malware is often spread through phishing emails, however, the research found an increase in “big game hunting”. This is when threat groups and actors specify attacks for financial gain.
As experts in the field continue to share tools and form closer working bonds in this underground economy, it has become harder to identify the perpetrates of cyber attacks
“commoditization of the global cybercrime”
Although arrests are being made for big hack attacks, threat actors are continuing to grow.
Ilia Kolochenko, founder and CEO of web security company ImmuniWeb, says: “We should expect further commoditization of the global cybercrime industry. Unlike lavish cybersecurity startups, which can usually “repair” any mistakes or omissions with a next funding round, cybercriminals think rationally and plan effectively. They smartly implement machine learning and cloud to accelerate diverse hacking tasks. They outsource some of their activities to other gangs to cut their costs, increase profits and add a supplementary smokescreen for understaffed and underpaid law enforcement agencies.”
It was also found in the investigation that cybercriminals are not only finding new ways to access supply chain networks but are also sharing more tools that contribute to the mass production of malware documents.
Kolochenko suggests that due to the developing technology used in this area, the future of cybercrime safety is bleak. He says: “Mushrooming cryptocurrencies will soon make sophisticated crimes technically uninvestigable. Given the modest financial opportunities available to bug bounty hunters compared to unscrupulous cyber mercenaries, we will likely see further proliferation of skilled and sophisticated cyber gangs capable of making entire countries tremble.”