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Long Cons: The Next Age of Cyber Attacks
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Ben-Johnson
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Ben-Johnson,
User Rank: Author
6/9/2015 | 8:53:05 PM
Re: Maybe we will get some action if the attacks are like this
I understand what you're bringing up in terms of if they already have money -- but criminal orgs and state-sponsored groups still need more funding.  With derivates, small investments can pay off huge (leverage), and you can short stocks so you're actually selling and don't usually need the full amount (trading on margin).

Plus, look at the double benefits -- you can cause harm to an organization that might have strategic importance (large US retailer) while also profiting -- two ways it can help your nation or organization.

 

Thanks for the question!
SgS125
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SgS125,
User Rank: Ninja
6/9/2015 | 10:35:32 AM
Maybe we will get some action if the attacks are like this
At least several new Government agencies may sit up and take interest once one of these types of attacks is brought to the light of day.

Mess with regular folks and no one cares, but once you diddle with a stock price the whole world gets interested.  Another example of follow the money.

No stock company would ever admit to a data loss that messed with the stock price.  They don;t have to report it if no PII is taken so we may never hear of this attack.

One question I would posit is Why would a "hacker" bother to buy and sell manipulated stocks when they already have money to buy stocks.  You are really calling out a new catagory of criminal here.  One that has massive funds and time to work for evil.  Not alot of technical miscreants fit that catagory.  Perhaps we would be looking at a rich guy who never plays by the rules and wants to be richer?

Nice article, made me think.

 
LanceCottrell
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LanceCottrell,
User Rank: Author
6/8/2015 | 4:05:47 PM
Great thoughts on non-traditional attacks
It is very interesting to consider the vastly increased range of possible attacks when we consider criminal profit paths beyond simply stealing and selling data, or extortion. Thanks very much for the article.
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Moderator
6/5/2015 | 11:37:46 AM
The need for basics
This really highlights the need for basics, zero-day exploits or targeted phishing might get a foothold but it is basic security 101 procedures that root out these types of things.

Even the most basic of examples: How many companies routinely (as in every month) check the administrators group on every server? EVERY server, not just the easy standardized ones in the server rooms but even the "test" virtual box that the guys in the lab bring up once a week or that one the guy in the remote site who fancies himself as his own tech dept runs.

or get an alert when something important like the membership of the Enterprise Admins group changes and have someone with time to research that alert and then have the documentation to make it possible to discover that something actually is wrong.

sadly even something as basic as that is beyond the reach for many many companies and obviously government organizations.

 
savoiadilucania
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savoiadilucania,
User Rank: Moderator
6/5/2015 | 11:04:40 AM
Indeed
"Above all, organizations have to identify their most valuable assets and build their security around protecting them above all else. In the coming age of the long cyber con, they need to expect their perimeter to be breached and focus on ensuring their adversaries are not able to take advantage of critical systems and information once they're inside."


This perhaps the most sensible thing I have seen written on Dark Reading in some time. I have been articulating this perspective for the duration of my career.  There is an inordinate amount of attention and money focused on implementing security improvements for systems and platforms that do not define an organization's value.


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