In the last few months, digital crime organizations are becoming increasingly more complicated and scalable. This will only become increasingly prevalent as technology develops and is adopted.
Over the last few years digital crime has become increasingly sophisticated. Previously, these online crime organizations have been limited to a small groups of individuals who were relatively decentralized and acting with independent interest. This has changed recently, however, as these hacking organizations are beginning to operate like businesses.
CNBC reported earlier this month that one such organization was found with, "HR department, performance reviews and an employee of the month". This is a clear example of organized crime beginning to form in the digital realm. What is especially disconcerting about these groups is that even the employees developing the malware or ransomware programs are unaware of what the software is being used for. They believe that they are working for a legitimate company.
In the quoted CNBC article, a reporter argued that, "we have evidence that not all the employees are fully aware that they are part of a cybercrime group...These employees think they are working for an ad company, when in fact they are working for a notorious ransomware group." This is concerning, as experienced real world professionals are developing and proliferating ransomware in a organized, focused way.
"These employees think they are working for an ad company, when in fact they are working for a notorious ransomware group."
Additionally, new techniques to developing ransomware have begun to appear. In a previous article published on Pentagon Cyber, I discussed the model known as ransomware as-a-service (RaaS). This business model involves a deal between developers and distributers, known as operators and affiliates. The developer builds a framework for a ransomware application, and the distributers modify and distribute this program. This partnership makes ransomware scalable as one developer can work with multiple distributers, and it can make the distributer difficult to find and stop.
"This partnership makes ransomware scalable as one developer can work with multiple distributers"
This is not the only ransomware model discovered. Thehackernews.com published an article which describes how pay per install (PPI) malware products are becoming developed and distributed similarly to the RaaS model. You can read more about the PPI distribution model here. This link will take you to a PDF provided by Blackhat.com which describes the PPI model in detail.
The cybersecurity experts at Pentagon Cyber, Inc argue that the best way to protect your organization is to work with a team of experts who can help you develop training, tools, policies, and incident response protocols. The Security Boulevard group reports that the cost to prevent a cyberattack is seven times less expensive than to try and repair one. So, don't wait. Contact your team of cybersecurity professionals today!
Use the link below to receive a FREE initial consultation with our team of cyberseucrity experts. The Pentagon Cyber Security Team can help your company develop training, policies, incident response protocol, as well as provide gap analysis and many other services. Book today!