A couple of common questions that arise whenever cyberpropaganda and hacktivism issues come up: who engages in it? Where do the people acquire the tools, skills, and techniques used? As it turns out, in at least one case, it comes from the traditional world of cybercrime. We’ve come across a case where a cybercriminal based in Libya turned from cybercrime to cyberpropaganda. This highlights how the cybercrime underground in the Middle East/North African region (covered in our paper titled Digital Souks: A Glimpse into the Middle Eastern and North African Underground) can expand their activity into areas beyond their original area of expertise.Read More
For $50, one could purportedly get a lifetime license to upgradeable variants of WannaCry. We saw this advertisement in an Arabic-speaking underground forum on May 14, two days after WannaCry’s outbreak. Indeed, a threat that left a trail of significant damage in its wake was objectified into a commodity, and even a starting point for others to launch their own cybercriminal businesses.
WannaCry’s relatively low price also reflects another unique aspect of the Middle Eastern and North African underground: a sense of brotherhood. Unlike marketplaces in Russia and North America, for instance, where its players aim to make a profit, the Middle East and North Africa’s underground scene is an ironic juncture where culture, ideology, and cybercrime meet.Read More
Yesterday, July 7, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) released their Cyber Crime Assessment report for 2016, where they outlined the most important threats to UK businesses such as cybercrime. This is the first cybercrime report produced jointly by the NCA and industry partners.Read More
A multicomponent backdoor and point-of-sale (PoS) malware tandem can lead to stealthier and more flexible attacks. And these can pose greater threats to enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Add another PoS malware to the mix, and you’ve got even bigger trouble.Read More
You may have heard about the Panama Papers—documents from a Panamanian law firm that revealed politicians, businessmen, and prominent individuals from countries all over the world were using offshore companies to cut their tax bills. It occurred to us to ask: Do cybercriminals avail of these services? Our research revealed that ads for offshore banking can also be found in underground forums. Offshore companies in Panama, the British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic are used to hide the proceeds from cybercrime.Read More