The Dark Side of Cybercrime

The Dark Side of Cybercrime

In the current age of technology, there are billions of internet users worldwide. More users means more opportunities for hackers to infiltrate the bank account of innocent individuals as banking is now also done online by a large percentage of the global population. These cybercriminals rob people’s money from their online bank accounts by utilizing a number of hacking techniques which mostly includes the use of ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malware which is installed by cybercriminals to encrypt the files of their victims after hacking onto their device. After they have taken a hold of their victim’s personal and professional data, they contact them and threaten to leak the sensitive data. Afterwards, they demand a ransom in the form of bitcoins in exchange for the return of the stolen data.

However, even if the victims go through with the payment, there is no assurance that they will get their data files back. An important piece of information that every internet user and organizations need to know is that nowadays, these attacks are not done by a single individual. There are more complex and organized groups executing the cybercrimes as a means to run a business in order to earn money.

The functioning of these groups and their deceitful activities is a complex and evasive enterprise. These days, the ones carrying out these crimes are not underaged teenagers hiding under their parents’ basement. There are huge criminal groups, some of which are state sponsored too. They are well funded, bringing in millions of dollars.

The business of cybercrime

Cybercriminals have several motives. Some of them include corporate espionage which refers to hacking in the system of an organization and stealing sensitive information. Afterwards, selling it to other organizations while demanding ransomware from the organization from whom they stole the data from.

Other motives include hacktivism, cyberwarfare, geopolitical motivations, terrorism, etc. However, maximum cybercriminals partake in this activity for the money. This does not suit their victim well. As per a research, ransomware could amount to almost 250 billion dollars being lost annually for these organizations.

Regarding the growth of the cybercrime industry, attackers are becoming more organized in their efforts and are running their groups like corporations.

As any business attempts to maximize profits and minimize risks, cybercriminals are doing the same. They are trying to compete by adopting innovative approaches, being covert and fearless.

They also acquire ransomware tools from the dark web, take over the marketplaces providing goods for sale the same as a black market.

In the dark web, criminals purchase and sell stolen credit card data, malware, exploit kits, email accounts, social media profiles, cyberattack services, etc.

Delivering Justice Against Cybercriminals

There are continual and focused efforts to track and arrest people and groups partaking in cyberattacks. For instance, the Justice Department of USA brought down a Russian national for conducting ransomware attacks against American government entities and businesses that involved a breach temporarily shutting down the meat supply giant, JBS.

However, the big question is “will these efforts have any impact in reducing cyberattacks”?

Organized cybercrime gangs and state sponsored groups will always try to attack the government agencies and private sector companies for the plenty of reasons stated in this blog already. A lot of ransomware developers are situated in Russia, where they have the backing of the state. However, these groups are said to be situated in all parts of the world including North Korea, Iran and China too.

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