The cyber black market is making a greater profit than illegal drugs, with a number of internet criminals establishing virtual storefronts to trade malware and data records, it has emerged.
The industry began with a number of ad hoc criminals and developed into organisations that often have connections with traditional criminal groups – including terrorist cells, mafias and drug cartels, as well as nation-states. This was reported in new research carried out for Juniper Networks by the Rand Corporation.
It was found that its similarities to a conventional market exist in how individuals communicate with each other through a variety of channels, and how they place orders and receive products. Further, its development occurs no differently than it would in a normal market, in terms of growth and innovation.
Juniper Networks’ Security Business General Manager and Senior Vice President, Nawaf Bitar, said that the root cause behind the accelerated evolution of the market – which he cites as being the finance that drives it – needs to be confronted.
“By disrupting the economics of hacking we can break the value chains that drive successful attacks. We must never lose the moral high ground, however, so we cannot go on the offensive and hack back, but we can no longer remain passive.”
Larger organisations do have a responsibility, as well as the resources, to tackle such movements, but smaller businesses need to protect their own data and systems. For those that don’t have the right personnel in place, it would be advantageous to address their IT security management team sooner rather than later, because right now, the enemy exists in a growing market.
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