Carl Leonard (Global) - The Cybercrime 'Five': Are all hackers the same? Part 5

Most people are unaware that different meanings exist when we say hacker, and it would be reasonable to ask why should you care? However, in understanding the motivation and objective behind your ‘hacker', you may be in a better position to plan an appropriate defense. Malicious hackers can be broken down in to 5 broad classifications. We've discussed the first 4 types in previous blog postings. In this fifth and final post we are going to explore ‘Cyber Soldiers'.

Cyber Soldiers


Who: This is a nation-state activity to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage, disruption or exploitation with an endgame objective of disabling an opponent's military capability. These guys are the special forces of the threat landscape; super skilled, buzz-cut, clean shaven, expert hackers. You'd never know who they were however - because if I told you I'd have to kill you.

Why: Cyber Warfare has been described of as the fifth domain of warfare with the Pentagon formally recognizing cyberspace to be just as critical to military operations as land, sea, air, and space. It is reported that at least 100 countries have been developing ways to use the Internet as a weapon and target financial markets, government computer systems and utilities. Cyber Soldiers may operate as APT or corporate spies at times, but everything they learn is geared toward a specific military objective.

What: Stuxnet is a great example of this attack method, a text book case of an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat). The worm was discovered in July 2010 and is the first specialized complex malware to only target industrial software. It was aimed at compromising the Iranian nuclear program and believed to be the work of a well-funded group of 5-10 people over 6 months.



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