The Professionalised Underground Industry

Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the remote work situation to mask their activities. However, the complex mind and tactics of cyber criminals makes it extremely difficult to provide legal protection for internet users.

According to Bromium, the highest earning cyber criminals are bringing home up to an annual revenue of $2 million and even amateur hackers are bringing back approximately $42,000. Let’s be honest, that is much higher than what a large percentage of the population earn per year and that’s what makes cyber crime increasingly lucrative - and a ‘profession’. While most businesses migrate their operations to the virtual space to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has created a golden opportunity for cyber criminals to unleash a wave of cyber attacks. However, with cyber criminals openly conducting their operations, why is it so hard to enforce law to prosecute them? Simply put, the minds and tactics of cyber criminals are extremely complex and that makes law enforcement especially difficult.

Cyber criminals getting off scot-free

In order to remain virtually invisible to evade prosecution, cyber criminals go through a tedious and elaborate process to remain anonymous. They adopt the use of several secure software and proxy servers to hide their location and route their communications through multiple countries. In addition to this dark invisible cloak, they would use a combination of traditional and digital forensics tactics which requires special acquisition techniques in order to obtain, analyse and eventually, identify the cyber criminal. To successfully conclude the case in court with legitimate and valid legal evidence, it would take at least thousands of hours conducting intensive research and cyber forensic analysis. If this already sounds complicated, this is just the tip of the iceberg - which is precisely why it is so hard to sentence cyber criminals the prison time they deserve.

The bigger problem for cyber criminals

With their experience and extensive knowledge in the dark web, affording a luxurious living out of cyber crimes appears relatively effortless in theory. However, the bigger problem lies ahead of them: How do you get a hold of your illicit gains without it being traced back to you?  The truth is cyber criminals traditionally store their money in other financial assets, vehicles and property in order to enjoy the benefits of their gain. However, as the cyber space continues to evolve, it has presented new ways for their illegitimate gains to be cashed out through cryptocurrencies and other digital payment tools. 

Strengthen your wall of defense.

As the professionalised underground industry continues to thrive, attacks and intellectual property theft are only going to get more common. Hence, it is crucial for us to stay protected or at the very least, have a strong wall of defense to reduce the chances of having our platforms weaponised against us.

 

To guide you along, Alyne experts have compiled some Cyber Security and Awareness tips which we think may be useful for you. 

 

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Eunice Cheah

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