More and more companies are making the change to cloud services for their business. While there are many advantages to the cloud, these services can also lead to vulnerability and security threats. Many cloud services include security systems such as a network TAP and integrated security, however, there are still new ways to get around these security programs. Today’s successful malware writers across the globe are highly motivated by money and are able to adjust their technical capabilities to evade the latest security technology and current industry best practices.
In order to protect your business and assets from cyber security threats, it’s important that you are familiar with the possible risks. Some important things to know about Crimeware-as-a-Service programs include the evolution of cybercrime, current hacking methods, and industry best practices.
Evolution of Cybercrime
Starting with hackers who wrote custom code to exploit vulnerabilities, then shifting to making these codes accessible to script kiddies, to currently providing full on Crimeware-as-a-Service programs, the cybercriminal world has greatly expanded and increased its efforts over time. The evolution of cybercrime follows a similar pattern to those that have been previously seen in business model evolution. This adjustment of technology stacks and revenue models as a service by cyber criminals shouldn’t come across as a surprise Crimeware, stolen data, and other salable items on the Dark Web are increasingly being sold as a service. These cyber criminals offer their crimeware services to clients in the same way that the average software vendor does. Cyber hacking has reached a point where the typical exploit kit is completely offered on a regular basis. The subscription prices for these kits follow a number of trends including one to the cyber black market: takedowns and mysterious disappearances of criminal competition.
Just as legitimate service provides a la carte selections and add-ons to a buyer’s needs, it is the same with crimeware services. Researchers have detailed a modular botnet service that offers up several different options. These services are fronted with highly professional and user-friendly management panels. Higher modular malware covers everything from browser password stealing and keylogging to a variety of Distributed Denial of Service attack techniques through crypto currence wallet stealing.
Cybercrime takes advantage of trends, knowing that one in three people will open their email. Crimeware-as-a-Service now makes this accessible to anyone who wants to hack someone or something else. Spear-phishng with weaponized documents and other techniques are already the popular tactic used by most cyber attackers because of the high success rate. While previously, one only needed nominal hacker skills to launch such an attack, the recent discovery of Crimeware-as-a-Service is making cyber crime accessible and easy for anyone with a Bitcoin wallet.
The current weapon of choice in cybercrime today is spear-phishing with Microsoft Office document attachments. Weaponized documents arrive via email as a benign attachment, such as a Word document or an Excel project. The attack runs across embedded in these programs and to drops a keylogger. When the target or person opens the attachment it tends to present itself as a normal-looking document on their screen but simultaneously works to compromise their machine with a virus.
Weaponized document attachments present severe problems for most companies and businesses. The reason is quite simple: people in an organization are more likely to open an attachment regardless of how much security training an organization does, hence why this form of cyber hacking is easiest and most successful. Most of these attacks ask users to enable macros, which is automatically done once they’ve committed to opening the document. This just means that vulnerability isn’t needed, only a macro code. As a consequence, these documents do not auto-detonate in company security programs, such as network sandboxes, as many programs check for presence of other documents to ensure it is a user machine.
Industry Best Practices
Several organizations have been struggling with these weaponized document spear-phishing attacks and other cyber hacking methods, however, these breaches can be prevented. Security teams should follow industry best practices, including the use of a multi factor authentication program, continuous collection of system logs, and not reusing passwords. In addition to these few examples, there are many ways to prevent a cyber security breach, and business owners and decision makers should make it an effort to familiarize themselves with these methods.
Organizations and companies who haven’t focused as much as they should on this threat, need to begin doing so as soon as possible. Isolation automatically identifies any links or attachments delivered via email so the attacker never has to be able to do any real damage themselves. Endpoint protection techniques, such as behavioral monitoring and isolation, can help in stopping weaponized documents from malware , machine learning, isolation, and whatever other techniques hackers use.