Dark net criminals hone in on enterprises

Dark net criminals hone in on enterprises

Behind the Dark Net Black Mirror, authored by University of Surrey criminology lecturer Dr Mike McGuire, highlighted that four in ten dark net hackers are selling targeted hacking services against FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 businesses, with bespoke threats targeting specific industries or organisations outnumbering off-the-shelf malware 2:1.

Dr McGuire says that attacks are becoming much more targeted and have fixed purposes; often focused on accessing enterprise data, such as emails.

"This is definitely a change I've seen. I believe that the FBI reported a 136% rise in identified global exposed losses due to business email compromises between December 2016 and May 2018," he points out.

McGuire notes that thanks to the tools available to them on the dark net, many cybercriminals are leaving low hanging fruit like personal credit card details in favour of much bigger tranches of corporate data that they can exploit. "The criminals are using the dark net to undermine businesses and find new ways of leveraging profit from them," he says.

"We ourselves found that about 15% of the information for sale on the dark net was specifically related to corporate data. I would say enterprises should be worried - what we saw was not just the usual stuff of people sharing passwords in emails, but actually messages discussing sensitive operational data."

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Keri Allan

Keri Allan is a freelance journalist and editor who has been covering the engineering and technology sector for over 15 years, writing for titles including E&T Magazine, The Engineer and Arabian Computer News.

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