It is clear that most hackers are driven by financial gain. However, recent reports have revealed some contrasting findings in terms of how ‘big’ a gain they are either chasing or able to secure. An average yield of UK Pounds 8,600 is hardly worth the effort!
According to ‘Flipping the Economics of Attacks’ by Palo Alto Networks and the Ponemon Institute 67% of UK hackers admitted that money is their main incentive for their criminality, although the same research revealed that the average UK cyber-criminal makes just over £20,000 per year (an average of £8600 per attack). These are not excessive amounts of money and are lower than expected, especially when you consider a cybersecurity professional can earn up to four-times that much. This suggests that cyber-hackers are more likely to focus their efforts on quick, easy targets with realistic financial payouts.
After all, more than half (54%) of UK respondents said that it takes less than 24 hours for an experienced criminal to plan and carry-out an attack against an organization with a ‘typical’ IT security structure, with 60% admitting that if the time it takes to perform an attack were to increase by less than two days (40 hours), they would be deterred and move onto another target. Here are our first clues into how hackers work: they are opportunists who like to act quickly to target organizations with weak IT security infrastructures.
The Financial Times reporting a recent upsurge in the number of cyber-attacks carried out against the very wealthy and those who manage their own finances. According to the report, security group Kroll discovered hackers are using networking sites such as LinkedIn to search and identify people with significantly well-paid jobs and then targeting them with malicious attacks to trick them into transferring money.
This suggests a shift in technique, with hackers abandoning traditional mass-phishing exercises and focusing on specific targets. A possible reason for this is that it is becoming more common for people, especially pensioners, to have full access to their finances.
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Source: Cyber Security Intelligence