Online Criminals Move On To Corporate Espionage

from the plain-old-phishing-doesn't-pay dept

One of these days, someone will do a fascinating study or book on the evolving nature of online crime. It's a constantly changing phenomenon that would be quite interesting to study. A few years ago, we noted that the ease with which script kiddies could jump into the phishing and online extortion market meant that margins were getting squeezed for older online organized crime groups who had focused on such practices in the past. Apparently, the big money now has moved away from standard phishing and into corporate espionage. Organized crime groups are figuring out ways to hack into company networks, suck up as much data as possible, and then sell it off to the highest bidder -- whether it's competing firms or foreign governments.

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  1. icon
    chris (profile), 14 Nov 2008 @ 7:22am

    Bruce Potter called this years ago

    BP (from the shmoo group) talks about the spectrum of security threats, and how highly automated attacks by individuals or small groups with relatively low skill levels (viruses, trojans, etc.) are largely ineffective thanks to signature based tools like AV and IDS/IPS and therefore represent the low end of the threat spectrum.

    the middle of the threat spectrum is represented by more specialized and targeted attacks (spear phishing, rootkits, malware, bots etc.) by teams of skilled programmers. this is the current state of the art for information security professionals. these teams require funding and recruiting and are probably backed by a corporation, criminal organization, or nation state.

    the high end of the threat spectrum is the insider: a person with varying levels of security clearance and physical access. in the industry this is largely ignored or written off as detecting and defending against these attacks are not feasible if not impossible.

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