Quantity Over Quality in Cyber Crime - i-HLS Innotech

As opposed to launching one complex attack against companies and organizations, cyber criminals are looking into expanding their economic scale by simply attacking more than ever before. Instead of using one attack vector against one company, threat actors are targeting an entire supply chain.

“Attackers are moving toward conducting their operations as efficiently as possible,” Wendi Whitmore, SVP at Palo Alto Networks said. “Attackers are now often looking to build an economy of scale.”

Likewise, instead of encrypting data, then decrypting it on the back end, ransomware groups can just steal the information and threaten to release it publicly if their ransom demand isn’t met. When data is stolen, organizations’ top priority is to quickly resolve issues and ensure client data isn’t exposed.

Threat actors know that and they’re optimizing business operations not just in techniques or processes, but also in the tooling they use, Whitmore said.

“We’re seeing this concept of commonality and convergence of these actual toolsets they’re using,” she said. This includes tools originally developed by red team security researchers.

“What we expect to see moving forward is even more actors using whatever tooling it takes to get the job done and increasing their efficiency as much as possible,” Whitmore said. “As long as there are secrets to be stolen and money to be made, there are going to be new attacks and new attackers for us to deal with.”

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