Organised Crime With The Digital Mafia on The Rise – What to Watch out For
Recently online, there has been a worrying case where internet scams are getting an increase in frequency due to organised crime groups. The IT staff of corporations will need to defend themselves adequately against such crime groups. Many threats could appear and take place, like denial of service attacks and theft of the company’s confidential data.
Online malicious behaviour used to be only done by amateurs. The amateurs conducted unsophisticated attacks, but they were still dangerous. But nowadays, there are online criminal groups that are being funded and are aiming to last for a long time. Their attacks are composed of multiple stages, and they were coordinated and sophisticated. Proxies, spyware, trojans, worms, and spam are the kind of attacks they use now. No one knows if the authorities responsible for fighting cybercrime are capable of defending against these increasingly sophisticated attacks.
The most targeted victims are large enterprises when speaking of denial of service attacks. Although, the larger the enterprise, the more likely they’re capable of handling the threat and dealing with it. Small enterprises aren’t targeted as often as large ones. But, they won’t be as capable of handling the attacks since they won’t have the resources or knowledge. The softest targets are who are usually targeted by criminal organisations, so the small enterprises receiving the denial of service attacks have a higher chance of happening. If you know who the mafia are, then you can probably see how similar this is with how they do things.
The Ever-Evolving Threat
In 2003, the threat of cybercrime involved due to how criminals gained the ability to deploy three skill sets into their tools. Those three skill sets were spamming, virus writing, and hacking. They were able to mess with their victims all over the world while they hid under cover of countermeasures. All of the virus variants such as MyDoom, Netsky, Bagle, and many more weren’t viruses that came from organised crime organisations. Most of their activity were schemes meant to extort money out of innocent people.
There was a worm called Sobig.F that was spread through mail en masse in the middle of 2003. It caused spam to be massively generated throughout everyone in the world’s emails. It was Sobig’s sixth iteration in that year, and it was released as an experiment by criminals as a way to get thousands of computers subverted for malicious purposes. All of the criminals that were responsible were based in the eastern parts of Europe. Their goal for Sobig was to manufacture a collection of computers that were hidden to be used as proxies. These are called spam zombies. The spam zombies are used to relay spam, which contains a virus, that has an attachment that looks innocent enough. The innocent-looking attachment was meant to trick people into opening it.
To defend ourselves from the digital mafia’s threat, we will have to prepare ourselves further than merely taking necessary measures. Their threat level is increasing quickly in scope and scale. It is a challenge to defend against the level of coordination their attacks involve. Whichever path people are taking to counter their attacks, there is one sure thing. What is vital is that there needs to be a collaboration with anti-virus researchers, internet service providers, as well as law enforcement. The future may have disaster coming if nothing is done about the criminal threat.