NewsSeptember 21, 2017 @ 10:15 AM

Report Shows Cybercrime Is Cheaper and More Accessible Than Ever

The opportunity to commit cybercrime is becoming cheaper than ever, thanks to malware-makers who have adopted the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, according to a research report from SecureWorks.

Cybercrime Aided by Affordable Malware

In its “2017 State of Cybercrime Report,” SecureWorks highlighted the emergence of malware, which is relatively affordable and available through a wide variety of underground markets.

Even those without a particular skill set in breaching IT systems can now buy tools that could steal information or cause other damage to an individual or organization, the report said. Some of the malware products on offer include spam botnets, binaries that have been precompiled and other tools.

As ZDNet reported, some of the findings in the SecureWorks report suggested that you can access stolen information for less than most people spend on coffee every week. For instance, in some cases it only costs $10 to acquire personal records or credit card data that was lost in a data breach.

Social Engineering and Ransomware Emerge as Largest Threats

Of course, cybercrime can come in many different forms from a variety of malicious actors, but business email compromise (BEC) was among the to threats SecureWorks tracked.

BEC refers to techniques whereby threat actors send a message as though it were coming from a senior executive within an organization demanding the transfer of funds, information or both. It’s a form of fraud based on social engineering that has skyrocketed since last year, based on FBI data cited in the SecureWorks research.

Ransomware continues to gain traction as well, with SecureWorks experts discovering 200 different forms of the cybercrime threat in 2016, SC Magazine pointed out. Some of the variants are better designed than others, of course, but the research pointed to Android smartphones as a growing target.

In its coverage of the SecureWorks report, the Business Standard said that consumers would likely be horrified to find out how inexpensive it has become to carry out cybercrime or purchase data. They would probably be equally alarmed at the complexity of the underground internet of various threat actors.

A low price point and plenty of wares? That’s a bad combination for cybercriminals’ next potential victims.

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Shane Schick

Writer & Editor

Shane Schick is a writer, editor and speaker who focuses on how information technology creates business value. He lives in Toronto.