Cybercriminals are getting more devious than ever

security
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Cybercriminals are getting more devious than ever, a new report from BlackBerry argues, claiming that they’re optimizing their infrastructure, sharing resources, and creatively taking advantage of the transition to cloud, to steal identities and wreak ultimate havoc among small and medium-sized businesses.

“Criminals are working out how to target us better. The infrastructure of the cyber underground has evolved so they can deliver more timely and personalized deceptions to the public,” said Eric Milam, Vice President of Research and Intelligence, BlackBerry. 

“This infrastructure has also incubated a criminal shared economy, with threat groups sharing and outsourcing malware allowing for attacks to happen at scale. In fact, some of the biggest cyber incidents of 2021 look to have been the result of this outsourcing.”

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Teamwork makes the ransomware work

According to the report, small businesses continue being “an epicenter” for cybercriminal focus. Today, SMBs are looking at more than 11 cyberthreats per endpoint each day, a figure which will most likely only grow, in the future, “as cybercriminals adopt collaborative mindsets”.

In fact, one of the biggest attacks to happen in 2021 shows just how collaborative they can be. In multiple incidents, BlackBerry found threat actors leaving behind playbook text files, with IP addresses and other information. The company surmised that ransomware builders and ransomware operators often aren’t the same people.

Furthermore, threat actors are taking advantage of the digital transformation, and the ease of use provided by cloud computing, to distribute malware. The majority the payloads hosted on public clouds are “highly malleable”, BlackBerry states, meaning they can be cheaply customized. 

“This trend was especially prevalent in North America, where local hosting of vicious payloads including Cobalt Strike surged,” it says.

To keep up with the times and ensure the general safety of their operations, businesses are advised to adopt the zero-trust strategy, BlackBerry concludes. The Biden Administration recently rolled out its Zero Trust strategy, and widely adopting the new approach to security is “imperative” across all sectors, BlackBerry added.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.