“The problem is that cyber criminals have figured out an important new angle to their business model: companies that don’t have information that is valuable on the black market still have information that’s valuable to the company itself.”
– Bryce Austin, author of Secure Enough? 20 Questions on Cybersecurity for Business Owners and Executives.
According to online security software company McAfee, there are both good (white hat) and bad (black hat) hackers, and they generally can be classified within 7 types motivation. Most are not the stuff of Hollywood movies, but they can cause havoc within your everyday business operations. You likely have a white hat hacker within your team. These are the good guys, people who test IT system security, searching for vulnerabilities to keep your data safe. The Black Hat hackers are growing in sophistication at a rapid pace, and they seek ways to make money with various types of cyber attacks. Another type, “Script Kiddies,” are ego-driven black hat hackers who use programs to cause network and website issues in an effort to make a name for themselves. “Hacktivists” are harassing hackers, looking for revenge or they are politically motivated, and their cyber misdeeds are generally for their own entertainment.
The next level cyber criminals are where things get really ugly.
McAfee describes state-sponsored hackers as having limitless time and funding to target governments, corporations and people of influence. Spy hackers are paid to steal trade secrets. They may even infiltrate a company by working as an employee mole. Lastly, a cyber terrorist’s sole motivation is to create fear and chaos by disrupting critical infrastructure. They are the most dangerous and murder is not outside their consciousness.
It’s impossible to put a number on how many “hackers” there are in the world, but the FBI has a list of their most wanted cyber criminals. Recently Trip Wire decided to take a closer look into this list and has a fascinating featuring running of the top ten over the next few weeks, beginning one you may have been effected by: Behzad Mesri
Behzad Mesri is responsible for last year’s hack of Home Box Office (HBO). He spent a total of two months compromising employees accounts so that he could attack larger assets like servers and sensitive data. He claims he stole more than 1.5 terabytes of HBO’s data which included footage from upcoming episodes of popular HBO shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” as well as full scripts and cast lists for “Game of Thrones” and other data for unaired shows. Mesri demanded 5.5 million in Bitcoin or he threatened to release the data to the public. HBO refused to pay the ransom and as you know, some of that information led to spoilers of your favorite shows all over the interwebs.
The data that was stolen from HBO is their greatest vulnerability but for many companies, the biggest risk is having data locked, encrypted, or destroyed. It is not only critical to have good backups, but to monitor it and test it and secure it. Global Data Vault not only backs up important and sensitive data but we continuously monitor, and test and transmission to ensure encryption and security.