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Cybercrime is big business


Zhanwei Chan | Global Security Service Architect

Zhanwei Chan | Global Security Service Architect

One of the most prominent changes we are seeing in the world of cybercrime is the huge increase in the number of cybercriminals taking their ‘jobs’ extremely seriously.

Malicious attackers are treating security as a business by leveraging flaws in holistic security systems to succeed in their industry of monetising stolen information. So how exactly has cybercrime become big business?

At the end of the day, your business is their business. The main goal of cybercriminals is to maximise their capital, either by selling the valuable information they acquired, using this information to facilitate the next hack, or humiliating organisations via “hacktivisim”. Chances are that if you have a flaw or a vulnerability in your system, these cybercriminals will find it and use it to drive their agenda, whether for financial, informational, political or social gain.

Not only are cybercriminals able to make money through the flaws in your systems but they also monetise their skills by creating crimeware. Less skilled attackers are now able to purchase and use crimeware to launch their own attacks. Crimeware can be packaged as ready to use exploit kits, and are being sold in the underground market. This has significantly lowered the barrier to entry for aspiring cybercriminals.

Exploit kits explained

Exploit kits, which are software exploits that take advantage of unpatched flaws, allow cybercriminals attackers to install malicious software on vulnerable devices. Here are a few trends we have seen when it comes to vulnerabilities targeted by exploit kits, according to the 2015 Global Threat Intelligence Report:

– decrease in Adobe Acrobat exploitation

decrease in Java exploitation

– increase in Adobe Flash exploitation

consistent exploitation of Internet Explorer

Vulnerabilities targeted in exploit kits:


Protecting your business from exploit kits

In order to reduce the risks associated with exploit kits, organisations should consider the following:

  • ensure effective patch management
  • carry out anti-social engineering (phishing) training
  • implement ad blocking software
  • subscribe to IP reputation services
  • subscribe to threat intelligence feeds or services


For the latest in threat intelligence get the 2016 Global Threat Intelligence Report:

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